Atletico Madrid secured themselves a place in next season's Europa League after easing past relegated Hercules 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon.
Defender Alvaro Dominguez gave Atletico the perfect start when he netted inside the opening minute and then highly-rated goalkeeper David De Gea saved a David Trezeguet penalty to keep the Rojiblancos ahead at half-time.
Trezeguet made amends for that miss in the 67th minute when he drew Hercules level, but parity lasted just four minutes before Jose Antonio Reyes netted what would turn out to be Atletico's winner.
The result means Atletico, who won the Europa League last year, are now assured of finishing in the top seven places and will be playing European football again next season.
Atletico will now face a shoot-out with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao in the final round of matches next week to see who will enter the Europa League automatically and who will have to go through qualifying, with all three sides currently locked on 55 points.
Atletico, for whom coach Quique Sanchez Flores yesterday revealed he will be leaving the club at the end of the season, were quickly in the ascendancy thanks to Dominguez's early goal.
A corner was fed to Mario Suarez on the edge of the Hercules area and although his shot was half-blocked, Dominguez stole in behind the Hercules defence to poke the ball past Piet Velthuizen as the visitors appealed in vain for offside against Sergio Aguero, who was deemed not to be interfering with play.
Aguero and Juanfran Torres had openings to increase Atletico's lead before Hercules were handed a great chance to get back on level terms when they were awarded a penalty in the 31st minute.
The spot-kick was given after Jorge Pulido was adjudged to have fouled Abraham Paz at a corner, but Trezeguet could not take advantage as his resulting penalty was superbly saved by the diving De Gea, who has been closely linked with a move to Manchester United in recent months.
That save allowed Atletico to go into half-time still boasting their one-goal lead, although it could have been better for the hosts with Jorge Koke striking the crossbar in the 40th minute.
Hercules also hit the woodwork in the second period when Javier Portillo fired against the post in the 62nd minute, and although Atletico survived on that occasion they were not so fortunate five minutes later when Trezeguet levelled the scores up with his 12th league goal of the season.
A Farinos corner was flicked on at the near post and Trezeguet got in front of Pulido at the far post to side-foot into the net from close range.
That was a blow to Atletico, but they reacted almost immediately to get their noses back in front - this time for good.
A great through-ball by Reyes was latched onto by Aguero, and although his attempted dink over Velthuizen was blocked by the Hercules custodian, the ball rebounded to Reyes on the edge of the are and his first-time volley flew into the net for the match-winning strike.