Atletico fuels Champions League claim

Atletico Madrid reinforced its claim to a European berth next season by brushing aside Celta Vigo 3-1 in the Spanish league on Wednesday.

Atletico is third in the standings, and Celta remains in the relegation zone.

Diego Costa opened the scoring for Atletico in the 47th minute when he connected with Miranda’s back-header.

Juan Francisco Torres extended the lead in the 66th by striking a powerful shot that defender Roberto Lago couldn’t intercept.

Forward Augusto Fernandez pulled one back for Celta in the 83rd.

Radamel Falcao added the third in the 86th by beating three defenders to rifle a shot past Celta goalkeeper Javier Varas, and could have stretched Atletico’s score in injury time but had his shot blocked by Varas.

Atletico is thrid-place in the standings on 72 points after 35 games and Celta is in the relegation zone on 31.