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On-fire Forlán keeps Atlético in position

Published: Sunday 24 May 2009
Club Atlético de Madrid consolidated their grip on the Liga's final UEFA Champions League berth by winning 4-1 at Athletic Club Bilbao, although Villarreal CF are just two points behind after ending Valencia CF's hopes.
On-fire Forlán keeps Atlético in position
Diego Forlán scored a quick-fire hat-trick for Atlético ©AFP
Published: Sunday 24 May 2009

On-fire Forlán keeps Atlético in position

Club Atlético de Madrid consolidated their grip on the Liga's final UEFA Champions League berth by winning 4-1 at Athletic Club Bilbao, although Villarreal CF are just two points behind after ending Valencia CF's hopes.

Club Atlético de Madrid consolidated their grip on the Liga's final UEFA Champions League berth by winning 4-1 at Athletic Club Bilbao, although Villarreal CF remain just two points behind with one game remaining after ending Valencia CF's hopes of a return to Europe's top table.

Hat-trick hero
Diego Forlán took centre stage at San Mamés, scoring a 14-minute hat-trick after Xabier Etxeita (67) had cancelled out Raúl García's 62nd-minute opener for Atlético. The Uruguayan took his tally for the season to 31 by striking on 73, 77 and 87 minutes, overhauling FC Barcelona's Samuel Eto’o (29) to move into pole position for the Pichichi. At El Madrigal, Villarreal defeated Valencia 3-1 thanks, in part, to two first-half goals from Joseba Llorente.

Relegation
Sevilla FC, already assured of third place thanks to their head-to-head record against Atlético, won 1-0 against RC Deportivo La Coruña, Diego Perotti striking in added time. Elsewhere, RC Recreativo de Huelva and CD Numancia have both been relegated. The former lost 1-0 at home to Real Racing Club, while Numancia's fate was sealed by a 1-0 reverse at the hands of hosts Getafe CF.

Espanyol safe
Getafe nonetheless remain one of several teams still in danger of losing their top-flight status next weekend, along with CA Osasuna, who, despite a 1-0 win at UEFA Champions League finalists FC Barcelona, remain in the bottom three. The Pamplona outfit are level on points with Real Sporting de Gijón, surprise 2-1 victors at Real Valladolid CF, and a point behind 16th-placed Real Betis Balompié, who drew 1-1 at Málaga CF. RCD Espanyol confirmed their safety with a 3-0 win at UD Almería.

Last updated: 24/05/09 2.35CET

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