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Suarez double fires Atletico seven points clear

suarez double fires atletico seven points clear

Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish league football match SD Eibar against Club Atletico de Madrid at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar on January 21, 2021. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)

Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic scored a penalty against Atletico Madrid on Thursday but a brace from Luis Suarez saw the La Liga leaders come from behind to win 2-1 at Ipurua.

Dmitrovic drove an early spot-kick past fellow goalkeeper Jan Oblak, only for Suarez to inspire the comeback, his second also a penalty which he earned himself and then converted in the 89th minute.

Another late victory for Atletico means they pull seven points clear of second-placed Real Madrid and 10 ahead of third-placed Barcelona, with another game in hand over both still to come.

Dmitrovic said he was nominated as Eibar’s penalty taker by coach Jose Luis Mendilibar.

“The idea that I would take it came from Mendilibar — it was my turn today, but it’s a shame because it hasn’t been of any use,” Dmitrovic said.

“He took it because the others have missed,” said Mendilibar. “He will keep taking them until he misses, that’s the rule.”

Suarez, meanwhile, moves level with Lionel Messi at the top of La Liga’s scoring charts on 11 goals, the Uruguayan increasingly looking like a player that can lead his side to the title.

He had Marcos Llorente’s pressing to thank for his equaliser but the second was almost entirely down to him, the 33-year-old chasing down a long punt downfield before tumbling over following a clumsy swing of the leg by Anaitz Arbilla.

Suarez chipped the penalty coolly down the middle.

“He takes responsibility,” said Diego Simeone. “He never leaves the game, he always plays with that intelligence that he has.”

“He is extraordinary,” Simeone added. “We’re glad he is with us.”

Atletico were the victims of an upset in the Copa del Rey a fortnight ago when they lost to third-tier side Cornella, whose spirited run came to an end at the hands of Barcelona on Thursday.

Atletico’s defeat by Cornella could have jolted their momentum. Instead, they have responded with two wins in the league, against Sevilla and now Eibar, who stay 15th.



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