Los Rojiblancos keep their quest for a European place alive with a professional performance, dominating the second-half to add gloss to the scoreline
Atletico Madrid beat a robust Getafe side 3-0 at the Vicente Calderon to keep their aspirations of Champions League football next season alive.
Eduardo Salvio put the home side into the lead with a looping header on 24 minutes with Diego then doubling the lead in the second-half, on the rebound after his header crashed off the crossbar, and Radamel Falcao tapped in their third.
The hosts had won their last four games at home in all competitions, but it was the team in fluorescent yellow who were looking most comfortable in the opening stages. They were looking dangerous on the attack, even though their final ball was consistently poor.
Getafe had a decent chance on 20 minutes when a free-kick was lofted into the box and both centre-halves for the visitors were unmarked, yet Alexis miscued his header as his effort falling harmlessly wide.
Atletico were feeling their way into the ascendancy after this and on 24 minutes they were in front. With his sixth goal in nine games, Salvio put the hosts ahead. The ball was crossed into the box from the left by Luis, and Salvio on the right of the box looped an extraordinary header into the top left-hand corner of the net, out of the reach of goalkeeper Miguel Moya.
The visitors were still looking dangerous on the counter, but they were being far from clinical. Jaime Gavilan showed this after half an hour, sprinting forward on a bullish run, yet he could only drag his left-foot shot wide of the right-hand post.
Luis Garcia Plaza’s team so nearly grabbed an equaliser five minutes before half-time. The cross from the left was inch perfect, but Diego Castro, only eight yards out, steered his header wide.
Early in the second period, Falcao had two chances to double the hosts lead. The impressive Luis passed him the ball from the left wing, but Falcao’s shot was blocked. Juanfran subsequently crossed the ball back into the box from the right, and Falcao could not connect properly with his second effort.
Falcao appeared to make amends by volleying into the net after a scramble in the box following a free-kick, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Diego Simeone’s side were dominating in the second-half with Getafe looking downhearted. They had more reason to be down when on 62 minutes Diego doubled his side's lead. Falcao's cross from the left was headed onto the bar by the Brazilian loanee, and he reacted first to the rebound to poke the ball over the line.
With 13 minutes left, Falcao made it three, and secured all three points for Madrid. It was too easy for the Europa League quarter-finalists as Juanfran was released into the box on the right before laying it to Falcao who steered the ball past Moya from within the six-yard box.
The victory for Atletico moves them temporarily up into seventh place in La Liga, five points shy of Malaga in fourth, the final Champions League position. Despite the loss today, Getafe remain provisionally in 10th place.