La Liga

Atletico Madrid claim La Liga title after victory over Valladolid

Atletico Madrid are Spanish champions for the 11th time in history and second time under the leadership of Diego Simeone.

6:53pm on Saturday 22nd May 2021
Robin Bairner

Atletico Madrid have won La Liga for the 11th time thanks to a 2-1 victory over Valladolid on Saturday.

Goals from Angel Correa and Luis Suarez gave Diego Simeone’s men maximum points, rendering Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory against Villarreal irrelevant.

Atleti have finished the season on 86 points, allowing them to win their first title since 2013/14.

Meanwhile, Barcelona finished a distant third after a 1-0 away win to Eibar.

The title race has twisted and turned like no other in recent years. Madrid and Barcelona both got off to slow starts, but Atleti were quickly out of the blocks and moved to the top of the standings after matchday nine.

Simeone saw his side lose away to Real Madrid in mid-December, which was their first defeat of the season, but they maintained their strong form until February, at which point they started to stutter.

A run of four wins in 11 matches saw the Clasico sides catch them and even overhaul them for a period. Having tumbled to third in the standings, though, Atleti smashed Eibar 5-0 at home as Real Madrid were held by Getafe and Barcelona were stunningly beaten 2-1 by Granada.

Atleti were now back to the summit of the standings, and would finish the season strong, dropping only two points in their final six games (a 0-0 draw away to Barcelona).

Their mentality was tested throughout this period, though, as they clung on under pressure from Real Sociedad in a 2-1 victory before coming from behind to beat Osasuna by the same scoreline a week later. Lodi and Luis Suarez struck in the final eight minutes of that latter match to secure a dramatic victory.

Indeed, Suarez, a player they signed from Barcelona last summer, proved to be the pivotal player in the title race, smashing the 20-goal barrier to net nearly a third of Atleti’s goals.

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