A brace by Sergio Aguero led Atletico Madrid to a 2-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday to put them back on track in the hunt for a European place following rivals Villarreal’s shock 1-0 defeat by nine-man Getafe.
Atletico were always in charge against a Deportivo side that has stuttered especially away from home.
It was Aguero’s night as he first won a penalty after being upended by ’keeper Daniel Aranzubia although Diego Forlan missed the follow-up spot-kick.
But Aguero then found the back of the net with a jinking run and shot, before adding to it 10 minutes before halftime. Atletico are now sixth in the table but are still seven points adrift of Villarreal who crashed 1-0 at Getafe. Juan Albin fired home in the dying minutes.
Daniel Diaz had already been dismissed and Albin was given a second yellow card for taking his shirt off when celebrating his goal.
Despite the red cards, Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido still felt the referee cost them the game.
“There were too many stoppages which favored Getafe as they organized their game to counter-attack. We needed there to be fluidity in the match,” he said.
Lowly Almeria produced an inspired performance to beat Sevilla 3-1.
Sevilla looked tense as they started the game on the back of three straight defeats and their mood did not improve when Frederic Kanoute missed a penalty.
Almeria scored with their first real chance at the start of the second half when a Vargas header just crept over the line.
A thunderbolt by Pablo Piatti increased the advantage and although Kanoute pulled a goal back, Piatti made certain of the points in injury time.