Atletico title: Simeone’s side win La Liga after beating Real Valladolid 2-1
What happened on Sunday?
Atletico were taken by surprise when Vallodolid took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. The hosts launched a counterattack from an Atletico corner and Oscar Plano finished cold.
The visitors dotted the surface of Vallodolid and had plenty of chances, but it just didn’t click for Simeone’s side until the 57th minute, when Angel Correa went 1-1 with a finish to toe, causing the defender to jump along the way.
Luis Suarez then sealed the deal ten minutes later with a left-footed shot to make it 2-1 and Atletico retained the trophy with a two-point lead over Real Madrid.
There was, however, a late drama.
Real Madrid were expected to win but trailed 1-0 against Villarreal for 87 minutes. Karim Benzema equalized in the playoffs to tie Los Blancos. At this point in the game, Real had to score again and hope Real Valladolid equalize against Atletico.
They did their part with Luka Modric to find a winner in the 92nd minute, but it was too little too late as Atletico had already claimed victory.
What was said?
Suarez was in tears after winning the title and said: “Barcelona didn’t value me, they underestimated me and Atletico opened their doors to give me an opportunity.
“I will always be grateful to this club for trusting me.”
How impressive have Atletico been this year?
Although many believe Simeone lost touch early in the season, the Argentine has proven his skeptics wrong by revamping Atletico and leading them to another title.
Where Real Madrid and Barcelona hesitated early on, Atletico flew out of the blocks and only lost once in the first half of the campaign as they laid the groundwork for their success.
Atletico have been generally frugal in defense, but this season have often favored a five-in-the-back system, with Kieran Trippier and Yannick Carrasco deployed as marauding full-backs.
Suarez, who signed with rival Barcelona, has proven he still has a lot to offer at the 34-year-old with 21 goals in 31 appearances and all-rounder Marcos Llorente also impressed with 12 goals and 11 assists.
What about Real Madrid?
It was always going to be difficult for Madrid to mount a challenge for the title, given that they let Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez leave last summer without bringing in any new faces.
That said, Zinedine Zidane kept them competitive, albeit pragmatic at times, and they took the title race to the end.
In large part, this is due to contributions from former hands such as Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, as Eden Hazard suffered another season plagued by injury. Madrid will need reinforcements to fight again next season.
This season has been nothing less than a soap opera in Catalonia. It started with Lionel Messi sensationalizing that he wanted to leave, which was followed by the controversial appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager, a Messi U-turn and the forced departure of Suarez – all before he left. a ball is kicked.
On the pitch, Barcelona struggled and suffered embarrassing defeats to Getafe and Cadiz as Messi failed to find form following his transfer request.
In 2021, however, Messi has flared up and his 23 league goals since the start of the year has been the main reason Barcelona have ever been considered a title contender.
Messi’s goals weren’t enough, however, and securing his future will be a priority for new Barcelona president Joan Laporta as next season approaches.
Is there anything else i need to know?
A lot. To find out how Atletico won the title, go further below with Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan.
(Photo: Jose Breton / Pics Action / NurPhoto via Getty Images)