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Late Correa stunner seals Atleti win and delays Barca's title party

A win for Diego Simeone’s side against Valencia means the champions haven’t regained their title just yet.

Atletico Madrid star Angel Correa celebrates his winning goal.
Atletico Madrid star Angel Correa celebrates his winning goal.

ANGEL CORREA’S STUNNING late strike secured Atletico Madrid a 3-2 win over Valencia at the Wanda Metropolitano tonight, delaying Barcelona’s confirmation as La Liga champions.

Defeat for Diego Simeone’s men would have seen Barca clinch a second successive title without even playing, but they showed admirable character to see off a resolute Valencia side who had seemingly clinched a valuable point in the top-four battle with a 77th-minute Dani Parejo penalty.

Atletico were good value for their lead when Alvaro Morata opened the scoring with less than 10 minutes on the clock, but they lacked intensity and Kevin Gameiro levelled for Valencia against his former club.

Griezmann ensured Atletico went back in front in the 49th minute at the end of a lovely move and, although Parejo converted a contentious spot-kick to seemingly earn Valencia a commendable draw, Correa’s long-range effort ended the visitors’ hopes.

Atletico began with great purpose and, after threatening with a couple of earlier deliveries, took the lead in the ninth minute – Morata turning home Juanfran’s brilliant right-wing cross.

Valencia gradually improved as the half progressed and levelled nine minutes before the interval, Santi Mina skilfully flicking the ball over Diego Godin’s head in the box and picking out Gameiro for an easy finish.

They were not level for long, however, as Atletico restored their lead just after the break – Griezmann nipping in front of Jose Gaya to head in Thomas Lemar’s precise cross from the left flank.

Jan Oblak was helpless to keep Parejo’s penalty out towards the end, as a VAR review saw Saul Niguez punished – somewhat harshly – for handball from a Gameiro effort.

But Correa – a second-half substitute for Filipe Luis – saved the day four minutes later, sending an unstoppable effort to Neto’s left from distance to seal the points.

In the grand scheme of things, Barca will probably not be too bothered about not clinching the title without playing, given they will surely wrap things up soon anyway.

The defeat matters more for Valencia with Sevilla and Getafe both due to play on Thursday and only two points separate the three.

Marcelino’s men can, perhaps, take solace from the fact Getafe face Real Madrid next, while Sevilla still have to visit the Wanda.

 

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