Antoine Griezmann opened and later completed the scoring as Diego Simeone’s men cruised to a simple victory in La Liga on Sunday
The race for Champions League qualification in La Liga appears tighter than ever after Atletico Madrid moved above Real Sociedad and into fourth place thanks to a 3-0 home win over Valencia on Sunday.
Griezmann gave the hosts the lead in the 10th minute at Vicente Calderon, finishing well from just inside the box after good approach play from Koke to score his 55th goal in 100 league games for Atleti.
Sloppy play had allowed Valencia to gain a foothold in the game but Diego Simeone’s men doubled their lead three minutes after the interval when Kevin Gameiro’s shot deflected in off the unlucky Eliaquim Mangala.
The result was never in doubt thereafter, with Griezmann seizing on indecision from the Valencia backline in the 83rd minute to claim his second and Atleti’s third, steering home what was the 350th goal Atleti have scored under Simeone in La Liga.
Fan favourite Fernando Torres was well enough to watch his side from the directors’ box two days after being released from hospital following a head injury in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Deportivo La Coruna.
Diego Simeone meanwhile was taking charge of his 200th La Liga game for Atletico, with his side recording a first win in three Liga games to boost their Champions League qualification hopes and narrow the gap on third-placed Sevilla to six points.
Having only taken one point from their two previous Liga games, Simeone will have been relieved to see his team close out the victory professionally to move into the table’s final Champions League spot.