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Atletico one win away from Champions League

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 May 2008

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Atletico Madrid's formidable South American strike pair of Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan fired them one win away from the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Espanyol on Thursday.

Atletico can now qualify for the Champions League for the first time in over a decade with victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday as they have a superior head-to-head record to fifth-placed Sevilla who are three points behind.

“If we win in the Calderon against Deportivo we are in the Champions League,” said Aguero.

“It has been a while and I hope the Champions League wait comes to an end on Sunday.”

Aguero, another player touted as the new Diego Maradona, opened the scoring on 26 minutes before Forlan, a 21 million euro summer signing from Villarreal, added a second four minutes later.

Aguero and Forlan have now plundered 44 goals between them – Aguero has 19 and Forlan 15 – to push Atletico to the brink of Champions League football for the first time since the 1996/97 season.

In fact Atletico are now just three points behind Barcelona and could even steal third place from Frank Rijkaard's struggling outfit.

Espanyol looked ready to compete for the Champions League themselves earlier in the season lying third after 22 games but their season has gone steadily downhill.

Since the new year Espanyol have lost 12 matches and their coach Ernesto Valverde is under pressure with the club languishing in 11th.

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