Atletico in Champions League

MADRID - Atletico Madrid secured the final Champions League spot and the millions of euros that accompany it with a 3-0 home win over Almeria on Saturday in the 1000th game at the Vicente Calderon.

MADRID - Atletico Madrid secured the final Champions League spot and the millions of euros that accompany it with a 3-0 home win over Almeria on Saturday in the 1000th game at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico needed just a draw to clinch fourth but they cruised to a 3-0 victory to qualify for the Champions League for the second successive season.

Argentine Sergio "Kun" Aguero and Raul Garcia put Atletico 2-0 up before Diego Forlan scored for the eighth successive match to take his season's tally to 32 and wrap up the 'pichichi' crown for the league's top scorer.

Atletico join champions Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla as Spain's Champions League representatives and coach Abel Resino, originally seen as a stop-gap, has staked his claim to continue in the job next season.

Forlan's old club Villarreal, runners-up last season, won 3-2 at Real Mallorca but Atletico's win meant they had to settle for fifth and a Europa league place.

Villarreal must now concentrate on trying to hang onto their highly rated Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini, 55, who has emerged as a strong candidate for the Real Madrid job.

Valencia clinched the final European spot with a 2-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao. - Sapa-AFP

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