Atletico Madrid reclaim fourth place with comfortable victory vs. Valencia
Atletico Madrid 3 - 0 Valencia

Atletico Madrid reclaim fourth place with comfortable victory vs. Valencia

With veteran striker Fernando Torres watching his team play just three days after being injured on the field, Atletico Madrid comfortably defeated Valencia 3-0 to regain fourth place in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Antoine Griezmann scored a goal in each half and Kevin Gameiro added another as Atletico rebounded from two winless games and again moved into position to fight for a Champions League spot.

It was Atletico's first game since Torres dropped to the ground unconscious after a collision with an opponent late in the match at Deportivo La Coruna on Thursday.

Torres was motionless for several moments at the Riazor Stadium in La Coruna. The 32-year-old forward was immediately hospitalised, but escaped any serious head or spine injuries and was released a day later.

"We are happy that he was here with us," Griezmann said. "Hopefully he will be playing again as soon as possible, because we need him."

Torres stood up and applauded the crowd after it loudly chanted his name at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

Torres, who won two European Championships and one World Cup with Spain, is expected to be cleared to return to training this week.

Griezmann scored in the 10th and 83rd minutes, while Gameiro got on the board in the 48th.

"We got off to a bad start in the first half and that cost us a goal, and then we got off to a bad start again in the second half and it cost us another goal," Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay said. "We knew we were playing against a very difficult opponent."

Atletico were coming off a 2-1 home loss to Barcelona and a 1-1 draw at Deportivo, results that virtually ended the team's title chances. They trail leader Barcelona by 11 points after 26 matches, but they cut the gap to third-placed Sevilla to six points. Sevilla play at Alaves on Monday.

The top three teams automatically qualify for the Champions League next season, while the fourth-placed club have to go through a playoff. Diego Simeone's team have a 4-2 first-leg lead over Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 of this year's Champions League.

Barcelona and second-placed Madrid won their league matches on Saturday. Madrid are one point behind the Catalan club but have a game in hand at Celta Vigo.

Valencia are 13th, safely away from the relegation zone.

Betting on LA LIGA? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

Lionel Messi officially agrees new Barcelona contract until 2021

Lionel Messi officially agrees new Barcelona contract until 2021

Barcelona have announced that Lionel Messi has agreed a three-year contract extension, committing his future to the club until 2021.

Real Madrid sign Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid on six-year deal

Real Madrid sign Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid on six-year deal

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Theo Hernandez from rivals Atletico Madrid, with the defender signing a six-year deal with the European champions.

Ernesto Valverde is new Barcelona coach as Luis Enrique departs

Ernesto Valverde is new Barcelona coach as Luis Enrique departs

Barcelona have confirmed the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as their new coach.

Barcelona salvage season with Copa del Rey win against Alaves

Barcelona salvage season with Copa del Rey win against Alaves

Lionel Messi produced yet another master class as Barcelona marked the end of Luis Enrique's Nou Camp reign by lifting the Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid secure La Liga title with victory over Malaga

Real Madrid secure La Liga title with victory over Malaga

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema swept Real Madrid to their first La Liga title in five years as they cruised to a 2-0 win at Malaga on Sunday night.

Barcelona fightback against Eibar not enough to deliver La Liga title

Barcelona fightback against Eibar not enough to deliver La Liga title

Barcelona came from behind to beat Eibar 4-2 at the Nou Camp, but it was not enough to deliver the La Liga title in Luis Enrique's final home match.

Sevilla thrash Osasuna in likely Sampaoli finale

Sevilla thrash Osasuna in likely Sampaoli finale

Jorge Sampaoli led Sevilla to a 5-0 thrashing of already-relegated Osasuna in what could be his final game at the helm.

Ronaldo makes history as Real Madrid inch closer to La Liga title

Ronaldo makes history as Real Madrid inch closer to La Liga title

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice at Celta Vigo to ensure Real Madrid need just a point from their weekend game at Malaga to win the La Liga title for the first time in five years.

Neymar treble keeps Barcelona top with win at Las Palmas

Neymar treble keeps Barcelona top with win at Las Palmas

Neymar struck a hat trick as Barcelona stayed top of La Liga with a 4-1 victory away to Las Palmas.

RELATED NEWS

Lionel Messi officially agrees new Barcelona contract until 2021
Barcelona news

Lionel Messi officially agrees new Barcelona contract until 2021

Barcelona have announced that Lionel Messi has agreed a three-year contract extension, committing his future to the club until 2021.

Real Madrid sign Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid on six-year deal
Real Madrid news

Real Madrid sign Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid on six-year deal

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Theo Hernandez from rivals Atletico Madrid, with the defender signing a six-year deal with the European champions.

Ernesto Valverde is new Barcelona coach as Luis Enrique departs
Barcelona news

Ernesto Valverde is new Barcelona coach as Luis Enrique departs

Barcelona have confirmed the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as their new coach.

Barcelona salvage season with Copa del Rey win against Alaves
Barcelona 3 - 1 Alaves

Barcelona salvage season with Copa del Rey win against Alaves

Lionel Messi produced yet another master class as Barcelona marked the end of Luis Enrique's Nou Camp reign by lifting the Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid secure La Liga title with victory over Malaga
Malaga 0 - 2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid secure La Liga title with victory over Malaga

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema swept Real Madrid to their first La Liga title in five years as they cruised to a 2-0 win at Malaga on Sunday night.

Barcelona fightback against Eibar not enough to deliver La Liga title
Barcelona 4 - 2 Eibar

Barcelona fightback against Eibar not enough to deliver La Liga title

Barcelona came from behind to beat Eibar 4-2 at the Nou Camp, but it was not enough to deliver the La Liga title in Luis Enrique's final home match.

Sevilla thrash Osasuna in likely Sampaoli finale
Sevilla 5 - 0 Osasuna

Sevilla thrash Osasuna in likely Sampaoli finale

Jorge Sampaoli led Sevilla to a 5-0 thrashing of already-relegated Osasuna in what could be his final game at the helm.

Ronaldo makes history as Real Madrid inch closer to La Liga title
Celta Vigo 1 - 4 Real Madrid

Ronaldo makes history as Real Madrid inch closer to La Liga title

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice at Celta Vigo to ensure Real Madrid need just a point from their weekend game at Malaga to win the La Liga title for the first time in five years.

Neymar treble keeps Barcelona top with win at Las Palmas
Las Palmas 1 - 4 Barcelona

Neymar treble keeps Barcelona top with win at Las Palmas

Neymar struck a hat trick as Barcelona stayed top of La Liga with a 4-1 victory away to Las Palmas.