After a drama-filled final day of the La Liga season, Atletico Madrid was eventually crowned champion for the first time since 2014.
Needing to better city rivals, Real Madrid’s result, Atletico won 2-1 away at Real Valladolid while Real won 2-1 at home to Europa League finalists Villarreal.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Diego Simeone’s side, conceding early to Valladolid. But almost at the same time, Real conceded a shock goal to Villarreal’s Yeremi Pino.
And in a dramatic second half, Angel Correa drew Atletico level while Real thought it had also drawn level through Karim Benzema’s header – the goal was eventually ruled out through the video assistant referee for offside.
Luis Suarez capitalized on some sloppy build up to seal the win for Atletico, and ensure the La Liga title was heading to the red and white side of the Spanish capital.
“The world is going through a different phase right now so if we can give some joy to people it means so much to us,” Atletico manager Simeone said afterwards.
“Thirty-two players I think have been involved, every one as important as the other. I am extremely grateful.”
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To and fro
Beginning two days head of city rival Real, Atletico knew if it won, it was title winners for the first time in seven years.
And heading to Real Valladolid, a site who was in its own relegation battle, it would’ve been quietly confident.
However, after 18 minutes, it was pinned back by a quick counterattack which was capped off with Óscar Plano running from halfway line to slide past Jan Oblak in goal.
Almost simultaneously, Real was also falling behind after some sloppy defending let in Pino to stab home.
Early into the second half, Real thought it had moved into pole position after talisman striker Benzema headed it level with Villarreal.
However, the France international was adjudged to have leaned offside from the deep cross, leaving Real still behind.
Meanwhile, Atletico itself did actually draw level, Correa’s stabbed effort sparking jubilant celebrations with players and coaches.
And knowing that two Real goals would swing the title in its favor, the nerves were high with Atletico.
But those were put to ease after the experienced Suarez, who moved from Barcelona in the summer, ran through to put Atletico ahead.
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After playing out the final 20 minutes – in which Benzema did actually draw Real level before Luka Modric claimed a late winner – the Atletico players could finally celebrate the momentous title victory, its first since 2014.
It’s the club’s 11th title victory in its history.