MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid's depleted team defeated Alaves 1-0 to strengthen its grip on second place in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Kevin Gameiro converted a second-half penalty kick to secure the away victory for Atletico, which rested most of its regular starters ahead of Thursday's return leg against Arsenal in the Europa League semifinals.
The result gave Atletico a four-point gap to third-place Real Madrid, which has a game in hand. Diego Simeone's team moved within eight points of Barcelona, which can secure its third title in four seasons with a draw at Deportivo La Coruna later Sunday.
Gameiro scored the 78th-minute winner from the spot less than 10 minutes after Fernando Torres had his penalty kick saved by Alaves goalkeeper Axel Werner.
Atletico forward Angel Correa was sent off with a second yellow card in second-half injury time.
Among the players rested by Diego Simeone was Antoine Griezmann, who scored a late equalizer in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the first leg in England, when Atletico played with 10 men for most of the match.
Alaves stayed 13th in the 20-team standings.
GETAFE MOVES UP
Getafe moved to the final qualification spot for the Europa League with a 1-1 home draw against Girona.
The result left Getafe in seventh place, one point in front of Sevilla.
Girona, also in the fight for a spot in Europe's second-tier club competition next season, stayed in ninth place. It has the same 48 points as Sevilla, which has a game in hand.
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