Atletico beats Levante 3-0 to protect 2nd place in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Atletico Madrid eased to a 3-0 win at home over Levante to strengthen its hold on second place in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann put Atletico ahead before substitute Fernando Torres scored in his first match since announcing that he would leave his boyhood club at the end of the season.

Atletico remained 11 points behind leader Barcelona with six rounds remaining, meaning its best chances of finishing the season with silverware rest on its upcoming Europa League semifinal against Arsenal.

Correa opened the scoring for the hosts in the 33rd minute. The Argentine midfielder received a short pass from Victor "Vitolo" Machin and used a quick change of foot to fire past three defenders.

Griezmann wasted a one-on-one situation with Oier Olazabal shortly before halftime when he was booked for diving after contact with the goalkeeper. But the France forward made up for it in the 47th when he used one touch of his right boot to blast in a waist-high pass from Sime Vrsaljko for his team-high 19th league goal of the season.

Griezmann was replaced shortly after by Torres, who volleyed in a pass by Correa in the 77th to the delight of fans at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Torres, 34, announced on Monday that his second stint with Atletico was nearing its end. The former Spain standout played for Atletico from 2001-07 before going to Liverpool and Chelsea, where he won Champions League and Europa League titles. He returned to the club he considers home in 2015.

"For me every game I have left is a party, you can see how the fans are with us," Torres said. "I hope that goal isn't my last."

Atletico will visit Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on April 26.

Atletico striker Diego Costa did not play against Levante as he recovers from an injury to his left hamstring.

Levante is the last team above the relegation zone, with five points separating it from the drop.