Atletico put five past Valladolid to close on Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid's players celebrate at the end of the Spanish league football match between Real Valladolid FC and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on April 30, 2023. (Photo by CESAR MANSO / AFP)

MADRID, Spain (AFP)— Atletico Madrid moved back within two points of second-placed Real Madrid in La Liga after surviving a Real Valladolid comeback in a 5-2 victory on Sunday.

Goals from Nahuel Molina, Jose Maria Gimenez and Alvaro Morata had visitors Atletico 3-0 ahead inside 38 minutes.

Valladolid hit back through a Cyle Larin penalty and Sergio Escudero's goal, but Atletico sealed victory thanks to Joaquin Fernandez's late own goal and an injury-time strike from Memphis Depay.

Atletico have little to play for in La Liga, sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona and 13 clear of fifth-placed Villarreal.

But Diego Simeone's men are finishing the season strongly and aiming to take second from Real.

They have won eight of their last nine league games, with the only blip a 1-0 loss at Barca.

Earlier on Sunday, Valencia's bid to avoid slipping out of La Liga for the first time since 1987 suffered another blow with a 2-1 loss at fellow strugglers Cadiz.

Valencia are now only two points and one place above the drop zone, although Espanyol's 1-0 win over Getafe prevented the six-time Spanish champions from falling into the bottom three.

Ruben Baraja's side are two points clear of both 18th-placed Espanyol and second-bottom Getafe in the relegation dog-fight.

Cadiz moved above Valencia with their win and sit four points clear of danger.

The visitors were sunk by two goals either side of half-time from Gonzalo Escalante and Sergio Guardiola for Cadiz.

Samuel Lino pulled one back but Valencia failed to mount a comeback and now need a response against Villarreal in midweek.

Villarreal gave their slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League a boost with a 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo to move within five points of fourth-placed Real Sociedad.

Senegalese youngster Nicolas Jackson scored twice as the Yellow Submarine also edged four points clear of Real Betis to strengthen their grip on the Europa League spot.

Betis were beaten 4-0 by Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Saturday as the Catalan giants maintained their 11-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the table with six games to play.

Espanyol ended a dreadful run of seven defeats and one draw in eight games thanks to Joselu's first-half penalty against Getafe.

The Spain striker has scored 14 La Liga goals this season, fewer than only Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.

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