Atlético Madrid won La Liga and Luis Suarez found justification, his goal securing the 2-1 victory over Real Valladolid on Saturday that gave his team another remarkable Spanish title. Suarez started the season crying after being forced out of Barcelona, but ended it with his 21st goal of the season, winning Atlético its first league game since 2014, this time at the expense of Real Madrid. Atlético knew the win would guarantee them the title no matter what Real Madrid did against Villarreal at home, but it was never comfortable, with Valladolid taking a shocking early lead. Real Madrid also lagged most of the afternoon, but Karim Benzema equalized in the 87th minute and Luka Modric even scored a late winner for 2-1 at Valdebebas, leaving Atletico stuck at the end as they suddenly one goal away were of waste. it everything.
When the final whistle sounded, the players ran onto the field, Suarez under a pile of red and white shirts, with Europe’s most nerve-racking and unpredictable title race finally completed.
Just over a week ago, coach Diego Simeone said this was the “Suarez Zone” proving that the Uruguayan scored the winner against Osasuna last week to keep the title in the hands of Atletico and then again on the final day to win their name. The trophy.
This is only the second time in 17 years that a team other than Barcelona or Real Madrid has won the title, with Atleti claiming the other in 2014 under Simeone.
Atlético entered the game for having been on top since December, and after beating Osasuna by two goals in the last eight minutes, a victory so dramatic it looked like it would turn out to be decisive.
But Atlético hasn’t done anything the easy way this season, with their lead cut from 10 points in February to two in May and their position at the top of the table, based on countless slip-ups from both Real Madrid and Barcelona.
So it was fitting that, faced with beating Real Valladolid, who was 19th in the table, they still had to scrape the line.
Several hundred Atletico fans gathered in the hours before kick-off in Valladolid’s Plaza Mayor to sing songs and a similar number made it outside the stadium, where they were dropped off in a pit of nerves and anticipation.
– Players shouted –
Suarez had some early openings, but all hopes for a comfortable afternoon were lost in the 18th minute as Valladolid took the lead.
It came from a corner of Atletico when Yannick Carrasco lost the ball and broke Valladolid at speed, pinging through midfield and finally on to Oscar Plano, the former Real Madrid youngster who drove away and shot past Jan Oblak.
There was plenty of time left and the other consolation for Atlético was that Real Madrid also fell behind. Gerard Moreno’s pass caused confusion in the back, with Yeremi Pino pushing Villarreal into the lead.
Atlético pushed through when Suarez’s attempt curled next to and Felipe crossed straight at Jordi Masip, but they also looked for peace. Players shouted at Oblak to give the team a moment to regroup. Simeone told the replacements to calm down.
Both title contenders were left behind at half-time, but Atlético came out with renewed vigor and a few crucial minutes fell on their path.
Real Madrid struck first, Benzema headed into Casemiro’s cross before Angel Correa tied for Atletico as well, gathered at the edge of the area, and shot through Jawad El Yamiq’s legs.
However, Atletico’s equalizer became all the more valuable after that of Real Madrid was excluded, Benzema’s left arm sidelined by VAR.
Valladolid might have scored again, but Shon Weissman headed forward with a gaping goal, and then Atletico took the lead, a gift from a pass-back from Sergi Guardiola that allowed Suarez to skip the mistake.
Atletico Madrid won the 2020-21 La Liga title with a 2-1 win over Valladolid
Suarez slipped the ball past Masip before landing under a pile of Atletico teammates.
Real Madrid equalized in the 87th minute, Benzema made a beautiful finish in the top corner and it wasn’t over yet, Modric scored again, leaving Atletico with a few nerve-racking final moments. They have crossed the line.