LaLiga wins for Atleti and Leganes as Sevilla are held
Atletico Madrid tightened their stranglehold on second as Leganes followed up their Real Madrid cup win.
Atletico Madrid eased past Las Palmas to strengthen their grip on second place in LaLiga.
The 3-0 win moves Atleti six points clear of Valencia as Diego Simeone’s men remain the closest challengers to runaway leaders Barcelona.
Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres eventually broke down the visitors after the pair had both to come close to opening the scoring in the early stages, with Thomas adding the third late on.
Torres shot just wide at the midway point of the first-half, with Griezmann rattling the crossbar moments later with a tremendous effort.
The France international broke the deadlock with a tidy finish just after the hour-mark before hitting the woodwork again.
The lead was doubled courtesy of Torres before Thomas wrapped up the victory as Las Palmas were unable to offer much of an attacking threat throughout.
Earlier, Leganes – who triumphed over Real Madrid in the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey in the week – picked up a third successive home league win.
Espanyol were on the receiving end this time around as defender Mario Hermoso scored two own goals before pulling back a late consolation as the hosts won 3-2.
Hermoso’s first own goal came early on and separated the sides at the interval, with Marc Navarro levelling soon after the restart.
Miguel Angel Guerrero re-established the lead for Leganes before Hermoso again turned past his own goalkeeper.
The former Real Madrid youngster netted at the right end with two minutes remaining but Espanyol, who remain 14th in the table, could not muster up a dramatic equaliser.
Leganes missed out on moving into the top-half of the table as Getafe scored a stoppage-time equaliser at Sevilla later in the evening.
In a closely-fought contest, Luis Muriel’s second-half flick was looked enough to secure three points in Sevilla’s hunt for European qualification.
But, after Ever Banega hit the post late on for the hosts, they were pegged back as Angel struck in the dying embers.