Hooked but still victorious: Atlético Madrid, leader of La Liga, chained a 6th consecutive success in the league on Thursday at Eibar (2-1), enough to relegate Real Madrid, 2nd, to seven points.
In the absence of several executives (Koke suspended, Joao Felix replacing), the “gunslinger” Luis Suarez saved Atlético again: he first equalized by taking back from the right a ball blocked by Marcos Llorente in the area of Eibar (40th), then caused and transformed a penalty at the very end of the game to seal the victory (89th).
His double allows him to equal his ex-teammate and great friend Lionel Messi at the top of the table of top scorers in La Liga with 11 goals.
“It was a little battle, a war,” Suarez summed up on Movistar at the final whistle. “We have to be convinced that if the team is focused, if everyone contributes something, we can achieve important things,” he said.
But the two goals of the Uruguayan almost went unnoticed Thursday: the image of the evening will be that of Serbian international goalkeeper of Eibar Marko Dmitrovic stepping forward to put the ball on the penalty spot and take Jan Oblak on the wrong foot on a penalty conceded by Yannick Carrasco to open the scoring (12th).
An extremely rare scene: Dmitrovic became the 7th goalkeeper to score in the history of La Liga, the last before him being Daniel Aranzubia with Deportivo La Coruna (head, February 20, 2011 against Almeria).
The Serbian goalkeeper (28, 16 caps) is also the first to score a La Liga penalty since Nacho Gonzalez on March 3, 2002 (with Las Palmas against Athletic Bilbao).
The new defeat conceded Thursday does not do the business of Eibar (15th with 19 pts, two points from the red zone), but those of Colchoneros, who ensured the three points despite a muddled game.
Eliminated from the Copa del Rey as soon as they entered the running and absent from the Spanish Supercup last week, the Colchoneros were able to rest and focus on La Liga.
Because by their round of 16 in the Champions League against Chelsea (first leg on February 23, return on March 17), Diego Simeone’s men will have a very favorable schedule in Liga (Valencia, Cadiz, Celta Vigo, Granada, and Levante twice). A highway to the coronation?
Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.
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