Reigning La Liga champion Atletico Madrid won its fourth consecutive league game on Friday, beating Cadiz 2-1 to climb to third place in the standings.

Joao Felix was once again a key factor for Atletico as he scored in the third minute following an error from Cadiz goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma who mishandled the ball inside the area and gifted it to the Portuguese forward.

Felix has five goals in his last five games in all competitions and has been instrumental in reviving Atleti's title hopes after a poor start to the season. Real Madrid leads the standings on 63 points, 12 ahead of Diego Simeone's side.

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Atletico were pegged back when veteran Alvaro Negredo headed in an equaliser for Cadiz from a counter-attack on the stroke of halftime. However, the reigning champion retook the lead in the 68th minute with Rodrigo de Paul scoring from a rebound.

Atletico ended the game with 10-men after substitute Javi Serrano was shown a straight red card after a violent challenge two minutes from time.

The side had an earlier red card shown to Reinildo Mandava at the end of the first half, but the video referee assistant intervened and referee Pablo Gonzalez changed the call, giving Atleti's defender only a booking.

Cadiz fought a good fight until the end and almost scored an equaliser to draw the game when Luis Hernandez struck from a rebound, only for defender Jose Maria Gimenez make a goal-line clearance.

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"As the season gets closer to the end every game will be more difficult because every team will be playing for something. It was a tough match but we kept it together and got three very important points," De Paul told reporters.

Atletico now travels to Manchester where on Tuesday they it face Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash after drawing 1-1 in Madrid two weeks ago.