Atletico keep winning in the pursuit of Real Madrid

·2-min read

The race for the league title may be as good as over in Spain, but Atletico Madrid refuse to slow down in the pursuit of their city neighbours as they target second place.

Barcelona sit 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with six games left but Atletico remain in third, within two points of second-placed Real Madrid, after beating Valladolid 5-2 on Sunday for their eighth win in nine matches.

As well as a Champions League spot, second place guarantees a place in the lucrative Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

"We have good momentum, we've been competing very well," Atletico defender Jose Maria Gimenez said.

"There is still a lot of league left and we have to stay on this path."

Atletico went 3-0 up in the first-half through Nahuel Molina, Gimenez and Alvaro Morata, before Cyle Larin pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot shortly before the break.

Sergio Escudero reduced the arrears further on 74 minutes before a late own goal by Joaquin Fernandez and an added-time Memphis Depay strike wrapped up the scoring.

"We were doing well with a 3-0 lead but they suddenly got back into the game and made it difficult for us," Simeone said.

Valencia failed to distance themselves from the relegation zone after a 2-1 defeat at Cadiz.

The loss ended Valencia's two-game winning streak and left them in 17th place, two points clear of the drop zone.

Gonzalo Escalante and Sergi Guardiola scored a goal in each half to move Cadiz to 14th, two points above Valencia. Samuel Lino scored for the visitors.

Valencia avoided dropping into the relegation zone thanks to Espanyol's 1-0 win over Getafe, a result that left both clubs in the relegation places.

Joselu converted a first-half penalty to end Espanyol's eight-match winless streak.

Nicolas Jackson scored twice in the first 12 minutes as fifth-place Villarreal beat Celta Vigo 3-1 to keep pace with Sociedad in the fight for the final Champions League spot.

Ramon Terrats also scored for Villarreal, who have won five of their last seven and trail Sociedad by five points.