Atletico overcome a goal deficit to beat Real Valladolid 2-1 in the final league game as Real Madrid's come-from-behind victory against Villarreal goes in vain.
A dramatic come from behind victory helped Atletico Madrid pip rivals Real Madrid to the La Liga title. A second-half fightback saw Diego Simeone’s side win their final league game 2-1 against Real Valladolid, who were relegated as a result of the loss. Atletico were trailing to Oscar Plano’s first half strike but second-half goals from Angel Correa and Luis Suarez helped them win the title by two points. Meanwhile, their rivals Real produced a comeback of their own, scoring twice late on to beat Villarreal 2-1 but it was not enough for them to retain the league title.
“I am delighted the way Atletico have appreciated me and given me the chance to keep showing I can perform on this stage. I thank them for trusting in me, a lot of people have suffered with me, my wife, my children,” Suarez said after the match. “I have been playing football for many years and this is the year my family and I have suffered the most. It is an amazing feeling to have performed on the final day of the season.”
This is Atletico’s first title in seven years and their 11th overall. Meanwhile, their city rival Real ended the season without silverware. Elsewhere, Lionel Messi-less Barcelona defeated Eibar 1-0 through Antoine Griezmann’s second-half strike. It clinches them third place ahead of Sevilla. Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla will play their last league match on Sunday against Alaves.
Earlier, the intriguing La Liga title race got even better as it was filled with drama on the final day. At half-time break, both Real and Atletico were trailing by a goal. Oscar Plano’s goal against Atletico Madrid early on might have brought delight to their neighbours, but the joy was short-lived. Yeremi Pino immediately scored a goal for Villarreal in their match against Real.
The team talks from Simeone and Zinedine Zidane at the break seemed to have helped with both teams starting the second half on the front foot. Atletico levelled through Angel Correa but Karim Benzema’s header was ruled out by VAR.
Not long after Benzema missed a good chance, and seconds later Suarez ran clear to put Atletico in front in the other match. The Uruguay striker was sold by Barcelona last summer, but he reminded them of what they missed, scoring 21 league goals.
Towards the end, Benzema equalised on 87 minutes before Modric netted the winner in injury-time but it was not enough for Real. Atletico had done their part in the other match to clinch the league title on a thrilling final day.
“My work is to help the team and pay them back by scoring goals. Sometimes it is necessary to push even harder but Atletico is a huge club and we have shown it this season – we have been the most regular performer and that is why we are the champions now,” added Suarez.