Atletico go third with comfortable Valencia win

Atletico Madrid forward Samuel Lino celebrates scoring the opening goal against <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Valencia;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Valencia</a> at the Metropolitano Stadium (JAVIER SORIANO)

Atletico Madrid rose to third in La Liga on Sunday with a comfortable 2-0 win against visitors Valencia.

Former Valencia player Samuel Lino and Memphis Depay struck to settle an encounter which Diego Simeone's team controlled.

Victory took them ahead of champions Barcelona, fourth, on goal difference, after the Catalans crashed to a 5-3 home defeat on Saturday by Villarreal.

Atletico trail league leaders Girona by 11 points after Michel Sanchez's shock title contenders won 1-0 at Celta Vigo earlier Sunday.

"Our job is to go game by game ... and see how the table is at the end (of the season)," Lino told DAZN, echoing his coach's usual mantra.

Atletico made a host of chances in the first half but only found the breakthrough deep in stoppage time.

Lino finished clinically after Antoine Griezmann found him with a superb pass.

Depay added the second in the 57th minute with a diving header from Nahuel Molina's cross, after midfielder Koke sprayed the ball out to the right flank.

Dutch international Depay nearly scored another with a wonderful flick over a defender and then a vicious dipping effort which landed on the roof of the net.

Simeone left new arrival Arthur Vermeeren on the bench after his recent move from Royal Antwerp, while Juventus striker Moise Kean watched on from the presidential box ahead of his own impending move to Atletico.

Valencia, eighth, are enjoying a solid season but largely failed to trouble the hosts at the Metropolitano stadium.

"We didn't start off in the way we should have, we didn't do what we've been doing in recent games," said Valencia midfielder Pepelu.