Atletico de Madrid players celebrate one of their goals over Real Valladolid in Valladolid, Spain, on April 30, 2023. EFE/R. Garcia

Atletico smacks Valladolid 5-2, Jackson hits 2 for Villarreal over Celta

Sports Desk, Apr 30 (EFE).- Atletico Madrid is doggedly pursuing Real Madrid, looking to secure the No. 2 spot in Spain’s La Liga, downing Valladolid on the road 5-2 for the eighth time in its last nine contests.

Action during the Atletico de Madrid-Valladolid match in Valladolid, Spain, on April 30, 2023. EFE/R. Garcia

The capital squad hit the twine three times at Jose Zorilla stadium before the intermission and then notched two more tallies after the break to remain just two points in back of their crosstown rival with six weeks left in the season.

Atletico de Madrid's Nahuel Molina (r) fires a shot on goal against Real Valladolid during their match on April 30, 2023. EFE/R. Garcia

Both Madrid teams are looking to get the coveted No. 2 position in the Spanish First Division – although Barcelona is 11 points ahead of Real Madrid – because it would ensure them a place in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Espanyol's Joselu (r) celebrates his goal over Getafe at RCDE Stadium on April 30, 2023. EFE/Alejandro Garcia

The first three tallies for Diego Simeone’s men were the work of Nahuel Molina in minute 20, Gimenez four minutes later and then Alvaro Morata in minute 38.

Espanyol's Nicolas Melamed (l) fights for the ball with Getafe's Damian Suarez during their teams' contest on April 30, 2023. EFE/Alejandro Garcia

Valladolid – hovering near the relegation zone – gave Atletico a nervous stretch when they scored on a penalty kick by Cyle Larin in the 42nd minute and then with a shot by Sergio Escudero in the 74th minute However, the capital men saw their rival’s momentum fade when Joaquin Fernandez scored an own-goal for the 4-2 four minutes before regulation time expired and then Memphis Depay hit for the 5-2 in extra time.

Cadiz's Gonzalo Escalante (r) celebrate scoring the 1-0 tally against Valencia at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla in Cadiz, Spain, on April 30, 2023. EFE/Roman Rios

Cadiz prevented 17th-place Valencia from pulling away from the relegation threshold with its 2-1 home win on Sunday at Nuevo Mirandilla stadium.

Valencia's Toni Lato (l) fights for the ball with Cadiz's Ivan Alejo at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla in Cadiz, Spain, on April 30, 2023. EFE/Roman Rios

Gonzalo Escalante scored in minute 28 and Sergi Guardiola in minute 46 for the southwestern squad, putting Cadiz in 14th place, while Samuel Lino hit the twine for Valencia in the 50th minute.

Meanwhile, Joselu scored in the first half for Espanyol in the team’s 1-0 win over Getafe at RCDE Stadium.

And Villarreal downed Celta Vigo 3-1 at La Ceramica stadium on a brace by Nicolas Jackson in the 2nd and 12th minutes and another tally by Ramon Terrats in minute 70.

Celta attacked hard after going down 2-0, scoring on a shot by Strand Larsen in minute 29, and they were clearly going for the even-up score throughout the remainder of the match but found themselves unable to make any further headway.

EFE –/bp