Atletico Madrid´s players toss Atletico Madrid’s Argentine coach Diego Simeone after winning the Spanish league football match against Real Valladolid FC and the Liga Championship title at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on May 22, 2021. CESAR MANSO / AFP
Atletico Madrid won La Liga for the second time in eight years on Sunday as a 2-1 victory over Real Valladolid crowned them Spanish champions.
Here, AFP looks at five matches that secured Atletico the title.
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona, November 21
Yannick Carrasco scored the winner as Atletico registered their first La Liga win over Barcelona in more than a decade and stretched their unbeaten run to 24 matches.
It would be this result that eventually gave Atletico a better head-to-head record over Barca, who were left 10th in the table and without the injured Gerard Pique for three months.
Elche 0-1 Atletico Madrid, May 1
Atletico were inches away from surrendering victory and their lead at the top of the table to Real Madrid as Elche’s Fidel Chaves missed a dramatic 91st-minute penalty.
Fidel’s shot struck the post as Atletico held on for a 1-0 win that kept them two points ahead of Real Madrid and also in front of Barcelona going into a crunch meeting at Camp Nou.
Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid, May 8
Barcelona had the chance to shift the dynamic of the title race on their home turf but Atletico dominated the first half and Barca never did quite enough in the second.
The stalemate ended up being an even better result for Atletico after Real Madrid were held by Sevilla a day later, Atleti’s two-point lead preserved at the end of what many had circled as a pivotal weekend.
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Osasuna, May 16
With nine minutes left, Atletico trailed Osasuna 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano and Real Madrid were going top of La Liga, the title in their hands, with a win against Athletic Bilbao.
But Atletico pulled off an incredible turnaround, Renan Lodi equalising in the 82nd minute and Suarez scoring the winner in the 88th, with hundreds of fans celebrating outside in the stadium car park.
Victory kept Atleti top and left them one more win away.
Real Valladolid 1-2 Atletico Madrid, May 22
Atletico knew victory would win them the title regardless of how Real Madrid fared against Villarreal but they did it the hard way, coming from behind after Valladolid took a shock lead through Oscar Plano.
But Angel Correa equalised and then Suarez scored the winner, a nervy title race decided by a nail-biting victory.