Madrid, Jan 24 (efe-epa).- Atletico de Madrid romped to a 3-1 victory over Valencia on Sunday, with tallies by Joao Felix, Luis Suarez and Angel Correa, besting the visitors despite the fact that they put up a valiant fight and got themselves on the board first.
The match was played before empty stands due to coronavirus gathering restrictions.
It was Serbia’s Uros Racic who blasted the ball into the twine first in the 11th minute from 25 meters after Valencia came out fighting right from the start.
Joao Felix got the capital squad back even in the 23rd minute off a corner kick after taking Thomas Lemar’s cross and deftly sliding it by Jaume, in the net for Valencia.
The first half ended tied at 1-1 but nine minutes into the second half, it was Felix who sent the ball to Luis Suarez send Atletico ahead with a great low shot into the far corner.
And Correa but the icing on the cake for Atletico in the 72nd minute after a cross by Marcos Llorente, an advantage that the visitors were not able to erode.
Suarez is of inestimable value to the capital team, and his tally put him level with Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri as top La Liga scorer so far this season with 12, this one his seventh in the last seven matches, those goals being key in obtaining 15 of the team’s last 21 ranking points.
This was the second consecutive match in which Atletico had come from behind to win. It was the capital boys’ seventh straight La Liga victory and Diego Simeone’s squad now stands seven points ahead of No. 2 Real Madrid with a game in hand and 10 points ahead of Barcelona, which defeated Elche earlier on Sunday.
“We started out behind again, but this team always fights till the end and thankfully we came out with the win,” Felix said after the match, adding, though, that the team can’t get too complacent with their current lead in the table and must remain focused on each and every match.
With the loss, Valencia, who had been unbeaten in five matches in all competitions, remained down in 14th place tied with Eibar and Real Valladolid.
Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Vrsaljko (Lodi, min. 45), Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso, Carrasco; Llorente (Kondogbia, min. 75), Koke, Lemar (Torreira, min. 85); Joao Felix (Correa, min. 62) and Luis Suarez.
Valencia: Jaume; Thierry, Paulista, Diakhaby (Guillamon, min. 47), Gaya; Musah (Remeseiro, min. 79), Carlos Soler, Racic (Koba, min. 79), Cheryshev (Guedes, min. 58); Manu Vallejo (Gameiro, min. 79) and Maxi Gomez.
Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea showed yellow cards to Atletico’s Vrsaljko (min. 30) and Savic (min. 76).