Real Madrid losing to Levante yesterday meant that Los Colchoneros had the opportunity to go ten points clear of their nearest challengers with a victory, and they didn’t disappoint. A Luis Suarez brace was pivotal in securing a 4-2 victory.
“We take care and worry about following this line. We didn’t have Carrasco or Mario but the team responded very well. It grew, but we also need Torreira to grow, to make room for Dembele, to let Vitolo regain his place. Everything leads to greater competition which will raise the team’s position.”
Simeone’s response was similarly down-to-earth when quizzed about whether this was the game that might be looked at as the one that won Atletico the title. “To follow the line that you’re suggesting, we must continue to go game by game,” he said.
“The players have to compete with each other and demand to play to generate that competition between us. Then the Champions League will come where we hope to compete until the end, and we need everyone for that. I only worry about being the best possible for whatever comes.”
They started well. Suarez has been flying since the moment he rocked up in Madrid after being coarsely discarded by Barcelona, and he scored his 13th goal of the season in the 28th minute to put himself top of the Pichichi race and Atletico in front.
Atlético Madrid have 50 points from 19 La Liga games. On course for a 100-point season. Only ever been done twice before (Real Madrid 2012, Barcelona 2013). Atléti have never won more than 90 points in a season before.
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) January 31, 2021
Cadiz equalised in the 35th minute through another veteran marksman in Alvaro Negredo, before a 44th minute strike from Saul Niguez restored Atletico’s lead going into half-time.
Five minutes after the second-half restarted, Suarez was at it again, this time converting a penalty kick to give Los Rojiblancos a two-goal cushion.
Negredo scored his and Cadiz’ second 21 minutes later to reduce the gap between the two teams to just one goal, but Diego Simeone’s men didn’t falter and added their fourth thanks to the inimitable Koke in the 88th minute.