They watched the game on the terraces and in the bars of Madrid, often side by side. Until recently, Atlético was still 11 points ahead of La Liga rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. However, this lead has slowly begun to shrink. Additionally, a corona outbreak in the squad saw 16 players infected. Consequently the engine began to falter. 2nd place FC Barcelona had already won the away game against Osasuna with 0-2 the day before. Before the game Atlético was sitting in 1st position with Real in 3rd. The difference between Real and Atlético was 5 points with Atlético having one game in hand. Number 4 in the table, Sevilla lost 2-1 at Elche on Saturday putting them 11 points behind the lead. However, they also have one game in hand.
Atlético took the lead after 15 minutes in the first half by a goal from Atlético took the lead after 15 minutes in the first half by a goal from Luis Suarez. After a nice deep pass by Marco Llorente, scion of a famous football family, “El Pistolero” curled the ball with the outside right around Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. It was the twelfth time Suarez played against Real and the tenth time he scored against them. Currently, Suarez is 2nd to Messi in the number of goals scored in La Liga this season. Suarez has scored an amazing 17 goals out of 22 games.
Shortly after the break, Atlético missed some big chances after flawed defending by Real. Furthermore, as the second half progressed, Atlético became increasingly sloppy. And as a result, Real claimed their chance in the 87th minute. Karim Benzema made it 1-1 after a wonderful combination with the outstanding Casimiro.
This remained the final score. After this round of play, Atlético’s lead over rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is only 3 and 5 points, respectively. However, Atlético still one game to play.
With 12 rounds to go, the tension in La Liga seems to be back again.