In its chase of Real Madrid for second place in the Spanish league, Atletico Madrid won't let up.
Atletico Madrid kept up its excellent run on Sunday by defeating Valladolid 5-2 for their eighth victory in nine games.
Third-place With six games left, Atletico Madrid was still two points behind city rival Madrid after scoring three goals in the first half and two more late. On Saturday, Madrid defeated Almeria 4-2 at home.
Because it ensures entry into the lucrative Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, second place is especially significant.
Atletico's lone recent defeat came two rounds ago in a 1-0 loss to league-leading Barcelona at Camp Nou. Barcelona has a healthy 11-point lead over Madrid going into the final stretch after defeating Real Betis 4-0 at home on Saturday.
Atletico defender José Mara Giménez remarked, “We have fantastic momentum, and we've been competing extremely well. “We must continue on this course because there is still a lot of league left.”
Nahuel Molina scored for Atletico in the 20th minute, followed by goals from Giménez in the 24th, lvaro Morata in the 38th, Joaqun Fernández's own goal in the 86th, and Memphis Depay in stoppage time.
In the 42nd minute, Cyle Larin converted a penalty kick for Valladolid, who are now in 15th position and four points above the relegation zone. In the 74th minute, Sergio Escudero scored for Valladolid. For the squad owned by former Brazil star Ronaldo, it was their second straight defeat.
With a 3-0 advantage, “we were doing well, but they suddenly got back into the game and made it difficult for us,” Simeone stated.
The last Champions League slot is held by Real Sociedad in fourth place, eight points behind Atletico.
STALLS IN VALENCIA
After falling to Cadiz 2-1, Valencia was unable to pull away from the bottom-half of the standings.
Valencia's two-game winning run was broken with the loss, which placed Valencia in 17th position and two points from danger.
With two points more than Valencia, Cadiz moved up to 14th place thanks to goals from Gonzalo Escalante and Sergi Guardiola in each half. The visitor's Samuel Lino scored a goal.
Valencia, who previously competed in the second level in 1986–1987, defeated Valladolid 2-1 at home in the previous round despite needing a stoppage-time winner. That was followed by a 2-0 victory at last-place Elche to snap a four-game losing streak.
Due to Espanyol's 1-0 victory against Getafe, which put both teams two points behind Valencia, Valencia was able to avoid falling into the relegation zone.
The first-half penalty kick by Joselu ended Espanyol's eight-game losing run.
ILLUSTRATED IN CONTENTION
As fifth-place Villarreal defeated Celta Vigo 3-1, Nicolas Jackson scored twice in the first 12 minutes to keep Sociedad at bay in the race for the final Champions League spot.
Additionally scoring for Villarreal, which is five points behind Sociedad, was Ramón Terrats. On Friday, Sociedad defeated Osasuna 2-0.
Five of Villarreal's past seven games have been victories. Celta had only one victory in its past six games and is now in 13th position.
Sevilla hosts Girona on Monday, while Athletic Bilbao travels to Mallorca.