Atletico Madrid returned to the summit of LaLiga as Luis Suarez’s dramatic 90th-minute goal sealed a 2-1 win over 10-man Deportivo Alaves on Sunday.
Diego Simeone’s side dropped to second following Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday, but a fourth consecutive top-flight victory restored a two-point advantage over their city rivals with still two games in hand.
Marcos Llorente put the visitors ahead after 41 minutes with his latest long-range effort – his five from outside the penalty area since the beginning of 2020 more than any other LaLiga player.
Alaves brushed off Victor Laguardia’s 63rd-minute red card to pull level six minutes from time through Felipe’s outrageous own goal, but Suarez popped up at the death to snatch a memorable win for Los Rojiblancos.
Simeone started with Joao Felix on the bench and the Portugal forward’s spark was sorely missed for much of the first half.
The visitors did forge ahead four minutes before the interval, though, with just their second effort on target.
Llorente collected Suarez’s pass, cut inside from the right and found Fernando Pacheco’s bottom-left corner courtesy of a substantial deflection from Laguardia for his seventh goal of the season across all competitions.
Laguardia was then dismissed for a wild lunge on Thomas Lemar shortly after the hour mark, referee Juan Martinez Munuera upgrading the defender’s initial yellow card after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Despite that setback, the hosts – who had earlier hit the post through Florian Lejeune’s header – pulled level in the 84th minute when Felipe thundered into his own net from substitute Joselu’s low cross into the area.
Atleti roared back in the closing stages, however, and Suarez tapped in Joao Felix’s cross from almost on the line to keep the charge for a first league title since 2013-14 on track.