The Colombian helped the capital club produce a stirring second half display which seals third spot in La Liga
Atleti have looked almost certain to qualify for Europe’s premier competition but now have secured their place at Europe’s top table, thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Juanfran and Radamel Falcao.
The result does nothing to help the home side, who lie deep in the relegation mire in 19th place, two points adrift from safety and having played a game more than their rivals.
The first half was uneventful, with perhaps the hosts having the better of the chances, but the visitors quickly silenced the Balaidos faithful after the break when striker Costa provided an excellent headed finish in the 48th minute after sloppy play in the build-up from Celta’s Natxo Insa.
Radamel Falcao almost doubled his side's lead four minutes later when he was inches away from adding a toe to a teasing Costa cross.
The away side did double their lead in the 67th minute, and again the impressive Costa was integral to his side’s good play. He coolly laid the ball off to Juanfran, whose deflected shot was just out of the reach of the unfortunate Javi Varas.
Celta kept fighting, aware the perilous nature of their current plight, and their hard work was duly rewarded on the 84th minute when the usually reliable Thibaut Courtouis let Augusto Fernandes’ shot squirm under him after the Belgian had saved Enrique de Lucas’s effort from distance.
Celta’s hope of rescuing a point was short lived. Falcao, as always, found space in the box after Celta failed to clear their lines, and the Colombian striker fired high in to the roof of the net.