Madrid, May 16 (EFE).- Just when it looked like Atletico Madrid was about to lose its grip on the La Liga No. 1 spot, Renan Lodi brought the team even with Osasuna in the 81st minute and then Luis Suarez put the capital squad over the top just three minutes before the final whistle on Sunday.
The visiting Osasuna had gotten on the board first in the 76th minute on a tally from Ante Budimir at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium before empty stands due to coronavirus gathering restrictions.
Had Atletico gone down to defeat, that would have postponed their chance to clinch the La Liga title and also would have enabled their crosstown rivals, Real Madrid – who were winning against Athletic Bilbao at the very same time – to vault to the top of the table with just one game left to play.
As it now stands, however, Atletico remains in the top spot, although Real Madrid still might manage to take the title if things roll their way next weekend and Atletico trips up.
With the situation even at 1-1 after Lodi’s goal, it was Suarez once again in the right place at the right time who fired the gamewinner from eight yards out.
What Atletico really was hoping for was for Real Madrid to stumble against Athletic Bilbao, but Nacho Fernandez got the capital boys on the board after the intermission, a lead that they maintained until the final whistle.
With the win, Atletico now holds on to their two-point cushion and, if they can manage a road win against Real Valladolid next weekend, that will get them their second La Liga trophy in the past quarter century.
Although no fans were on hand in the stadium for the Atletico-Osasuna match, hundreds of them gathered outside the venue to cheer the capital team on, a roar that could be heard inside the empty stadium.
The capital team scored at the one-hour-mark when Stefan Savic took a cross from Trippier and found the twine, but the shooter was ruled offside and the goal disallowed.
Atletico teed up another shot-on-goal and made it shortly thereafter, but this one, too, was for nought as well as Carrasco was ruled offside before moving in for the shot.
Although Barcelona had looked like they might have a chance at the title, their loss to Celta Vigo now puts them out of title contention. Although Leonel Messi had put the Catalans ahead initially, Santi Mina then twice got the ball into the net, including a last-minute goal to take the match for Celta.
Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso (Lodi, m. 65); Llorente, Koke, Saul (Joao Feliz, m. 65), Carrasco; Correa (Dembéle, m. 81), Luis Suarez (Kondogbia, m. 90).
Osasuna: Sergio Herrera; Ramalho, Unai Garcia, David Garcia, Juan Cruz, Ruben Garcia; Kike Barja (Torro, m. 77), Darko, Moncayola, Jony (Roberto Torres, m. 65); Budimir (Enric Gallego, m. 77).
Referee: Martinez Munuera showed yellow cards to Atletico Madrid’s Luis Suarez (m. 89) and to Osasuna’s Budimir (m. 76) and Darko (m. 84).