Madrid (AFP) – Kevin Gamerio scored a second-half penalty just seven minutes after Fernando Torres had missed a spot-kick as Atletico Madrid claimed a 1-0 win at Alaves in La Liga on Sunday.
Barcelona can secure the title later on Sunday if they avoid defeat at Deportivo La Coruna, but Diego Simeone’s Atletico stayed in control of the race for second by moving four points clear of Real Madrid, who have a game in hand.
Simeone rested several key players including Antoine Griezmann with Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Arsenal in mind, but the visitors did enough to edge to a first win in four games.
Torres, who will leave the club for a second time at the end of the season, had an opportunity to open the scoring in the 71st minute, but saw his low penalty well saved by Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco.
Former Real keeper Pacheco had only come on as a second-half substitute for Antonio Sivera after he had injured himself crashing into the post.
But Atletico were awarded a second spot-kick when Mubarak Wakaso handled inside the area, and substitute Gameiro made no mistake to beat Pacheco and score his seventh league goal of the season.
Winger Angel Correa was sent off for two injury-time bookings in the space of seconds after appearing to say something to the referee, but Atletico held on.
The capital club’s attentions will now turn to the clash with Arsenal at the Wanda Metropolitano as they look to reach a fifth European final in nine years after a 1-1 first-leg draw.