Atletico Madrid crowned champions of LaLiga after 7 years

Atlético Madrid clinch La Liga title after Luis Suárez seals win at Real Valladolid

Atlético Madrid’s captain, Koke, says they are destined to suffer but they are champions. The 3,000 fans gathered in the car park outside the José Zorrilla stadium exploded as Diego Simeone’s side offered another exhibition in survival. They came from behind to win 2-1 for the second time in a week and take the title at the end of a season of twists to the last. Top since week 12, Atlético hung on to a lead they had first taken in November.

Their opponents, could not. They had fought here, but relegation proved unavoidable. In the last minute Sergio Guardiola flashed a shot over, fear still gripping everyone, but Atlético were ultimately carried over the line by second half goals from Ángel Correa and, appropriately, Luis Suárez.

The task before Atlético on the final day had been simple – win – but this has been a season where nothing is straightforward. Valladolid were fighting against relegation; Atlético were fighting their own fears, the pressure they have lived with for months now. They had suffered but not yet succumbed and yet nor had they overcome yet, Simeone admitting recently: “Anxiety exists.”

The best way to avoid that was to score quickly and after just 37 seconds Suárez was through, only to be caught by Jawad el Yamiq. And not only did that early momentum slow, soon the unthinkable happened – except that this has been a title race when the unthinkable kept happening, every moment seeming decisive. From an Atlético corner, Yannick Carrasco lost the ball and suddenly Simeone’s side were exposed. Óscar Plano ran clean through and beat Jan Oblak at the near post, thudding at his chest in celebration.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: