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Real and Atletico warm up for European finals with Liga wins

Monday, May 14, 2018

Barcelona: Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid warmed up for their European finals by winning in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Madrid didn't need resting forward Cristiano Ronaldo to crush Celta Vigo 6-0 at home in its second-to-last match before the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Atletico also won at crosstown rival Getafe 1-0 just four days before it plays Marseille for the Europa League crown.

RONALDO RESTS IN ROUT
Manager Zinedine Zidane left Ronaldo off his squad as Madrid's star recovers from a right ankle injury that caused him to be substituted last weekend at Liga champion Barcelona.

Gareth Bale led the way without him, scoring the opening two goals. Francisco "Isco" Alarcon, little-used defender Achraf Hakimi, and Toni Kroos added on, along with an own goal by Celta's Sergi Gomez, to ease to the big win at home.

Madrid plays Villarreal in the final round of the Liga season before the Champions League final on May 26 in Kiev.

OBLAK ENSURES WIN
At Getafe, Atletico coach Diego Simeone played what could likely be his starting 11 for the Europa League final in Lyon. Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion scored from a pass by Antoine Griezmann in the eighth minute.

Goalkeeper Jan Olbak ensured the victory when he saved a penalty by Faycal Fajr in the 78th after Diego Godin fouled Angel Rodriguez in the area. Atletico maintained its hold on second place in the league.

SEVILLA & VILLARREAL TO EUROPA
Villarreal and Sevilla clinched Europa League berths for next season. Villarreal claimed one of the three spots after routing relegated Deportivo La Coruna 4-2 on the road. Sevilla also earned a berth after drawing at Real Betis 2-2 and Getafe's loss.

Betis already ensured a finish among the fifth-to-seventh placed teams needed to go to the Europa League.

Inter Milan crash to seal Roma's Champions League berth
Rome:
Inter Milan crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Sassuolo at the San Siro on Saturday which ensured that Roma get to play Champions League football next season.

Matteo Politano and Domenico Berardi scored in either half with Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli proving heroic for the visitors to severely undermine Inter's slim hopes of elite European action.

The defeat means third-placed Roma -- coached by former Sassuolo boss Eusebio Di Francesco -- are sure to finish in the top four and return to the Champions League after losing in the semi-finals to Liverpool this month.

Roma host champions Juventus on Sunday with the Turin giants needing just a point to seal a seventh-straight Scudetto.

Inter are two points behind fourth-placed Lazio who can rubber stamp their ticket to the Champions League if they beat lowly Crotone on Sunday. If not, both Lazio and Inter go head-to-head next week in the Stadio Olimpico.

Coach Luciano Spalletti lamented a "messy and confused" performance which failed to reflect Inter's dominance.

"It's never the fault of a single player, after going a goal down we had plenty of time to do things calmly and take the game to crush them," said Spalletti. "After the second goal the team lost its balance and chaotically tried to get back into the game. The result is also down to our own mistakes. Sassuolo probably felt comfortable after securing their Serie A safety.

"At times we were too chaotic and rushed, but we had the time. Andrea Consigli made two or three fantastic saves."

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