Club Atlético de Madrid established a six-point lead at the top of the Spanish Liga courtesy of a 2-0 home victory against Elche CF.
The result, secured by second-half goals from Miranda and Diego Costa, means Los Colchoneros will be crowned champions for the first time since 1996 if they win their next three games. Should they do so, Diego Simeone's team will be assured of the title by the time they travel to third-placed FC Barcelona on the last day of the season.
Atlético's eighth successive top-flight triumph was far from straightforward, though, Thibaut Courtois keeping the UEFA Champions League semi-finalists on level terms in the first period by making a low save to stop a Javier Márquez drive and then blocking Cristian Săpunaru's header.
Săpunaru pulled down Raúl García shortly after the restart, but David Villa's penalty was saved by Manu. The breakthrough came via an unlikely source, Brazil centre-back Miranda heading in José Sosa's corner with 18 minutes remaining.
The points were sealed in added time when Săpunaru was dismissed for conceding his second spot kick, this time for a foul on Diego Costa. With Villa having been substituted, Atlético's top scorer confidently dispatched his 27th league goal of the campaign, one less than Pichichi leader Cristiano Ronaldo.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.
|1||Club Atlético de Madrid||34||85|
|2||Real Madrid CF||33||79|
|7||Real Sociedad de Fútbol||33||51|
|12||RC Celta de Vigo||33||37|
|14||Rayo Vallecano de Madrid||33||37|
|17||Real Valladolid CF||33||32|
|20||Real Betis Balompié||33||22|