Atletico Madrid shine in 3-0 win over Valencia

Sports Desk, Mar 18 (EFE).- Playing some of their best football since the championship season of 2020-2021, Atletico Madrid pounded Valencia 3-0 Saturday to consolidate their hold on third place in LaLiga.

With 51 points, Atleti are 6 ahead of Real Sociedad, who host last-place Elche on Sunday, and 5 behind second-place Real Madrid on the eve of the Blancos’ visit to leaders Barcelona for this season’s fourth edition of El Clasico.

Valencia, on 26 points, are hovering just above the drop zone by virtue of goal difference and will find themselves in the bottom three by the end of the weekend if Getafe can take a point Sunday against Sevilla.

Diego Simeone’s men had a poor start to the season. Now, unbeaten in 10 matches since the World Cup and with five wins in their last six, the Colchoneros seem assured of an 11th straight year of Champions League football.

While the hosts dominated from the start Saturday at Madrid’s Civitas Metropolitano stadium, Valencia held them at bay until the 23rd minute, when Antoine Griezmann beat goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili to open the scoring.

Valencia responded in the 31st with a goal by Hugo Duro, but VAR alerted the referee to a foul in the buildup at the other end of the pitch, where defender Dimitri Foulquier stamped on the foot of Memphis Depay, and the goal for the visitors was disallowed.

Yannick Carrasco made it 2-0 just four minutes into the second half with an assist from Rodrigo de Paul and Thomas Lamar added a third goal in the 67th minutes, shortly after coming on as a sub for De Paul. EFE id/dr

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