Madrid, Oct 2 (EFE).- Luis Suarez had a goal and assist here Saturday to power Atletico Madrid 2-0 over Barcelona, the club that kicked him to the curb in the summer of 2020 after then-new coach Ronald Koeman decided the Uruguayan was not part of his plans.
The defending LaLiga champions go level on points with current leaders Real Madrid, though the Blancos remain in first place on goal difference and have a game in hand on their cross-town rivals.
Barça, meanwhile, are ninth and Koeman, already looking doomed after the team opened their Champions League campaign with two defeats, is unlikely to last much longer despite club boss Joan Laporta’s reassurance that the coach’s job did not depend on the outcome in Madrid.
Playing in a packed Wanda Metropolitano for the first time since before the pandemic, Atleti put more shots on target than Barcelona despite having less than 30 percent possession.
Thomas Lemar opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with help from Suarez, who fired just wide on a fine chance five minutes later.
When another opportunity presented itself in the 44th minute, the 34-year-old striker made no mistake, beating keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and defender Gerard Pique with a clinical finish.
Nodding to the unwritten rule against celebrating goals against a former club, Suarez lifted his hands as if in apology before simulating a telephone to evoke the call he received from Koeman in the summer of 2020 telling him his services were no longer required.
When Suarez left the pitch in the 72nd minute to make way for Antoine Griezmann, the Colchoneros faithful gave him a standing ovation. EFE id/dr