Madrid, March 22: The battle for third and fourth places in La Liga maintained its tension as Atletico Madrid cruised to a 2-0 win at home to Getafe to keep the pressure on Valencia.
Ferndo Torres was able to celebrate his 31st birthday in style, although it was 24 hours late when he headed Atletico into a third minute lead on Saturday. The result was never in doubt when Tiago Cardoso doubled the lead a minute before half time, reports Xinhua.
Both of Atletico’s goals once again came from set pieces and in the second period they contented themselves with controlling a rival who rarely looked likely to get back into the game.
Friday had seen Valencia temporarily move four points clear in third place as they won comfortably away to Elche 4-0. Andre Gomes put Valencia ahead two minutes before halftime and second half goals from Paco Alcacer, Otamendi and an own goal from Enzo Rico sealed the win.
Gail Kakuta scored the only goal of the match to give Rayo Vallecano a home win against Malaga that should serve to banish any lingering fears of relegation while Levante remain deep in relegation trouble after Charles’ 86th minute goal gave Celta a 1-0 win in the Ciudad de Valencia Stadium.
Athletic Club Bilbao were 2-0 up at home to Almeria before the break in one of the late kick-offs thanks to goals from Xavi Etxeita and Mikel Rico. Although an own goal from Mikel Balenziaga complicated matters in the second half, Athletic had few problems in chalking up their fifth successive win.
Filly Eibar ended a run of eight successive defeats with a 0-0 draw away to Grada, a result which favours the visitors more than the home side. IANS