MADRID, May 3 (Primera Liga) - Ignacio Camacho's birthday celebrations started a day early as the teenager netted his first league goals to lead Atletico Madrid to a comfortable victory over Recreativo Huelva.
Midfielder Camacho, who turns 18 on Sunday, netted two of Atletico's three goals, while the other came from a more familiar face with Sergio Aguero netting his 18th of the campaign.
The victory means Javier Aguirre's side remain in fourth spot in La Liga and move a step closer to their goal of Champions League football.
With only one win in their previous five outings and having been jeered off by their own fans following their last home match - a 3-1 defeat to Real Betis - Atletico were understandably tentative at the start of the game.
However, with their relegation-threatened visitors hardly brimming with confidence themselves, Atletico gradually took a hold of the game and were full value for their half-time lead.
It was not a 45 minutes to set the pulses racing, but Atletico did enough to keep the 35,000 Rojiblancos fans on their side.
The first decent effort of the game came in the 16th minute when Atletico midfielder Raul Garcia fired in a shot that was punched away by the diving Stefano Sorrentino in the Recre goal.
At the other end Rafael Barber had a good shooting chance in the 22nd minute when the ball fell nicely to him on the edge of the area, but he pulled his shot well wide.
That proved to be Recre's best opening of the half, and soon afterwards they found themselves a goal down.
The goalscorer was an unlikely one, with Camacho getting his head to Mariano Pernia's corner from the right to glance Atletico ahead from close range for his first Primera Liga goal.
Two minutes later Atletico had the ball in the net again when Aguero fired home from six yards out, but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Atletico should really have extended their lead before the break, but they found Sorrentino in fine form, with the former AEK Athens goalkeeper producing good saves to deny Raul Garcia, Camacho and Pablo Ibanez.
Javier Aguirre's men might have feared their inability to get a second goal in the opening period could come back to haunt them, but star striker Aguero settled any nerves with his side's second in the 54th minute.
Captain Maxi Rodriguez created the chance with a powerful run down the right and his low pass into the six-yard box was slotted home by his fellow Argentinian Aguero.
Recre were producing little going forward but they really should have pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute when Florent Sinama-Pongolle got in behind the Atletico defence, but the Frenchman fired wide of the far post.
It was largely all Atletico in the second period though, and Antonio Lopez sent a 30-yard thunderbolt crashing against the woodwork before Diego Forlan was denied by Sorrentino when one-on-one.
Camacho then netted his second of the game to ensure there would be no late slip-up for Atletico, the youngster swiveling on a loose ball in the area to slot into the corner and wrap up the points for the home side.
Real Zaragoza beat Deportivo La Coruña 1-0 in the late game, a result which lifts them out of the drop zone.