Atletico Madrid took another step toward securing a spot in the Champions League next season by defeating Real Sociedad 1-0 on Tuesday for their fifth win in a row in La Liga.
Filipe Luis scored for the second straight match and Atletico opened up a three-point gap on fourth-placed Sevilla, who play Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Atletico are now 10 points in front of fifth-placed Villarreal, the first team out of the qualification zone for the Champions League. The third-placed team automatically qualifies to the competition next year, while the fourth-place club must go through a playoff.
Real Sociedad dropped from fifth to seventh in the standings. They could have reduced their gap to Atletico to six points had they won at the Vicente Calderon. Real Sociedad haven't won in four straight matches overall.
Atletico were in control from the start and the Brazil international found the net from close range in the 28th minute after a quick exchange of passes with Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres.
Luis had also scored in the team's 2-0 victory at Malaga over the weekend. The left-back had not yet scored this season.
Real Sociedad improved in the second half but it was Atletico who had most of the scoring chances, including great ones with Torres and Angel Correa.
Atletico have won eight of their last 10 league matches and are enjoying their best run of the season. Diego Simeone's defense has been working well again, conceding only once in the last five league games.
Atletico overtook Sevilla for third place last weekend after having dropped to as low as sixth in the standings earlier in the competition.
Leaders Real Madrid play at Leganes on Wednesday to defend their two-point lead over Barcelona. Madrid still have a game in hand.