MADRID－After keeping a promise that it wouldn’t give Real Madrid a guard of honor before the game, Atletico Madrid went on to beat the newly crowned Spanish league champion 1-0 Sunday and moved closer to securing a Champions League spot.,Atletico clinched the victory in the last Madrid derby of the season with a 40th-minute penalty converted by Yannick Carrasco in the first win against its rival since 2018.,It gave fourth-place Atletico a six-point advantage over fifth-place Real Betis, the first team outside the Champions League spots with three rounds to go. Betis lost 2-1 at home to second-place Barcelona on Saturday.,Sevilla stayed one point in front of Atletico after salvaging a stoppage-time 1-1 draw at Villarreal earlier Sunday.,”We have three matches left but this was an important step toward reaching our goal,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said.,Madrid clinched its record-extending 35th league title the previous weekend with a 4-0 home win against Espanyol.,Madrid’s fans wanted Atletico to keep a tradition whereby players line up to applaud their opponents as they enter the field before kickoff. But Atletico said ahead of the match that it was not going to do this to avoid upsetting its fans at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.,Madrid was coming off its epic victory over Manchester City to advance to the Champions League final.,”It was an even match,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “We couldn’t have asked for much more after the week we had. I didn’t expect much more than this, to be honest.”,Ancelotti rested some of his regular starters, including goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, midfielder Luka Modric, forward Vinicius Junior and striker Karim Benzema. Modric and Vinicius came on as second-half substitutes.,Rodrygo, who scored twice late to force extra time against City on Wednesday, started the game.,The penalty came after a video review to check on a controversial foul by Madrid defender Jesus Vallejo on Atletico forward Matheus Cunha.,Atletico had won only one of its last six games in all competitions-2-1 against Espanyol in La Liga two rounds ago. Since then it had drawn at home against relegation-threatened Granada and lost at Athletic Bilbao.,Agencies Via Xinhua
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