Riquelme earns Atletico Madrid narrow win at Mallorca

football04 May 2024 21:52| © Reuters

Atletico Madrid closed in on a Champions League spot after winger Rodrigo Riquelme's early strike earned his side a 1-0 win at Mallorca in LaLiga on Saturday.

With four games remaining, Diego Simeone's side are fourth in the standings on 67 points, six ahead fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao.

Runaway leaders Real Madrid claimed a record-extending 36th LaLiga title earlier on Saturday after Girona fought-back to beat Barcelona 4-2, a result that left Carlo Ancelotti's side with an unassailable lead in the standings.

Real beat lowly Cadiz earlier on Saturday and hold a 13-point advantage over second-placed Girona while Barcelona dropped to third with 73 points.

There was an end-of-the-season feel at a half-empty Son Moix stadium with both teams lacking urgency in a lackluster match, with the only stand out moment being Riquelme's fine individual effort in the fifth minute which secured the win for the visitors.

Riquelme pounced on a loose ball in the edge of the box and cleared two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable strike just inside the right post.

"It was very important to win", Atletico defender Axel Witsel told Movistar Plus+.

"We wanted to win and stay six points ahead. We have to keep it up. After Riquelme made that fine control and scored a fantastic goal, we managed to stay well organised to secure the result."