Falcao scores in Atletico victory

Radamel Falcao scored to set Atletico Madrid on its way to a 3-0 win at Valladolid on Sunday, its first victory in six away matches in the Spanish league.

Atletico strengthened its hold on second place by moving seven points ahead of Real Madrid before its game against Rayo Vallecano later. Barcelona still leads Atletico by 12 points at the top of the table.

Atletico bounced back from its first home loss in 20 games against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday with its most convincing road performance in league play since September’s 4-2 win at Real Betis.

Falcao darted forward in the 11th minute to push in a rebound of Diego Godin’s strike that midfielder Gabi Fernandez had set up with a pass from a free kick. It was the Colombia striker’s 20th league goal of the season.

Diego Costa doubled the advantage in the 53rd when the Brazilian forward rifled Jorge ”Koke” Resurrecion’s headed pass under Valladolid goalkeeper Dani Hernandez.

Substitute Cristian Rodriguez added a third goal for Atletico in the 90th.