Costa's brace sees Atletico top Valencia

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Madrid, Spain ( - Diego Costa netted a pair of second-half goals on Sunday as Atletico Madrid eased past Valencia by a 3-0 score at the Vicente Calderon.

Coming off a 2-0 win over FC Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, Atletico had the better of the play in the early stages, but was unable to find a goal as the sides went into the intermission scoreless.

But the co-league leaders seized control of the match in the second half and finally broke through Valencia's back line in the 59th minute when Costa fired it home.

The first goal seemed to open the flood gates for the hosts as just four minutes later it was 2-0 when Raul Garcia found the back of the net. Costa wasted a chance to add to his total in the 74th minute when he missed a penalty kick.

But he quickly atoned for his miss, bagging his second goal of the match nine minutes from time.

The result sees Atletico keep pace with Barcelona atop the La Liga table with 43 points, while Valencia remains in ninth place with 20 points.

Also in La Liga on Sunday, Real Sociedad bagged four second-half goals en route to a 5-1 romp over Real Betis at the Anoeta. Imanol Agirretxe opened the scoring six minutes in but it was canceled out by a goal from Jorge Molina for Betis.

After the break, Jon Ansotegui made it 2-0 and Antoine Griezmann added a third goal just past the hour mark for Sociedad. Agirretxe finished his double in the 68th minute and Xabi Prieto capped the rout with a goal five minutes from time.

Alberto struck four minutes into proceedings for Sevilla at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but Markel Susaeta responded with a goal for Athletic Bilbao just two minutes later as the clubs settled for a 1-1 draw.

In Sunday's final La Liga fixture, Verza missed a penalty kick opportunity 23 minutes in and scoring chances were hard to come by as Almeria and Espanyol battled to a scoreless stalemate.