Atletico Madrid pipped city rivals Real Madrid to the La Liga title on Saturday after
Luis Suarez fired them to a 2-1 comeback win at Real Valladolid, which secured them
the Spanish championship for the first time in seven years.
Atletico knew victory would guarantee them the title regardless of what Real Madrid
did at home to Villarreal but it was never comfortable, with Valladolid taking a shock
early lead. Real Madrid were behind too for most of the afternoon but Karim Benzema
equalised in the 87th minute and Luka Modric even scored a late winner for 2-1 at
Valdebebas, leaving Atletico hanging on at the end, as they were suddenly one goal away
from squandering it all.
When the final whistle blew, the players ran onto the pitch, Suarez underneath a pile of
red and white shirts, with Europe’s most nerve-wracking and unpredictable title race
Just over a week ago, coach Diego Simeone said this was the “Suarez Zone” and so it
proved, the Uruguayan scoring the winner against Osasuna last week to keep the title in
Atletico’s hands and then again on the last day to put their name on the trophy.
This is the 11th league title that Atletico has won, and the second under Diego Simeone.
Diego Simeone on Atletico Madrid winning the title
“I’m happy for a lot of people,” Simeone said after the game. “It has been a very complex
year, and so many people have been lost because of the virus, so for Atletico to be
champions is different.
“It was a tough year, like our history; it’s one of the best years to be champions.”