Atletico Madrid strengthened their grip of third place in La Liga with victory over Alaves at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.
Second half goals from Saul Niguez and Diego Costa – the latter from the penalty spot – was enough to secure a fourth successive triumph for Diego Simeone’s side, despite a late consolation penalty from Joselu.
Saúl gets the breakthrough for Atleti! 🔴⚪
A great cross from Trippier and the midfielder heads it home 👏 pic.twitter.com/Znyn3u5W9k
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) June 27, 2020
The result moves them four points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla and to within 11 points of Barcelona, who temporarily lead the standings following their draw at Celta Vigo earlier in the day.
Despite falling well short of mounting a title challenge this campaign, there had been genuine fears the side could miss out on a top four spot entirely and a place in next season’s Champions League.
Atleti were languishing in sixth spot when La Liga resumed earlier in June after a three-month break, but have picked up an impressive 13 points in the five games since.
Saul opened the scoring for Atleti just before the hour mark and Costa doubled the advantage from the penalty spot in the 76th minute and despite Joselu converting his stoppage time penalty, the hosts held on.