Atletico Madrid 3 Levante 0: Torres reaches milestone as Simeone's side clinch top-four finish
Atletico Madrid secured Champions League football for next season thanks to a routine 3-0 victory over La Liga strugglers Levante on Sunday.
Having lost 1-0 to Sporting CP on Thursday, the home side appeared to be suffering a Europa League hangover until Angel Correa broke through Levante's resistance in the 33rd minute.
Antoine Griezmann maintained his scoring streak in the league with the second goal soon after the break, as Diego Simeone's side coasted to a 10th successive win at the Wanda Metropolitano in all competitions - all secured without conceding.
The France international's fierce strike from Sime Vrsaljko's volleyed cross saw him on the scoresheet for a fourth successive league outing, while also taking his tally for the season to 26 in all competitions.
Fernando Torres also found the net in the week he confirmed his impending departure, the substitute firing home Correa's cross to score his 100th La Liga goal for his boyhood club.
While the win does little to bother champions-elect Barcelona in terms of the title race in Spain, Atletico are now certain of a top-four finish with six games remaining.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) April 15, 2018
Looking over their shoulder at the opposite end after Deportivo La Coruna's surprise 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday closed the gap to the bottom three to five points, Levante kept Atletico quiet until Correa fired the hosts ahead just after the half-hour mark.
Allowed to drift in from the right flank while retaining possession, a meandering Vitolo run created the opportunity for his team-mate to break the deadlock, Correa cleverly cutting the ball onto his right foot to fire a low drive beyond visiting goalkeeper Oier Olazabal.
Atletico felt aggrieved they were not afforded the opportunity to double their lead from the spot in the closing minutes of the opening half, referee Jesus Gil Manzano not only dismissing the strong appeal for a penalty but also carding Griezmann for what he considered to be a dive.
In the clear, the Atletico forward pushed the ball beyond the advancing Olazabal before the pair came into contact with each other. A baying home crowd waited for the official to point to the spot, only for an exasperated Griezmann to instead be punished for simulation.
Frustrated at the end of the first half, Griezmann was all smiles early in the second when he thumped home Vrsaljko's cut-back ball from the right, the Croatian full-back cushioning the ball perfectly into the path of his team-mate's advancing run.
The scorer made way before the hour for Torres, with the incoming forward giving a rousing reception in his first home outing since confirming he will leave the club at the end of the campaign.
The Atletico supporters were back on their feet to cheer the former Spain international again in the 77th minute, Correa's chipped pass allowing Torres to roll back the years with a volleyed finish beyond Olazabal.
His milestone moment capped another comfortable home outing for Simeone's men, who remain on course to finish the campaign behind Barca in the table.
100 - Fernando Torres is the fifth Atletico player to reach 100+ goals in La Liga history. Myth. pic.twitter.com/ulYJCo7XqU
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 15, 2018