Atletico Madrid made an impressive comeback with a 3-2 win over Valencia on Saturday in the 91st and 93rd minutes, hoping Diego Simeone would be able to revive his season. Atletico Wanda were looking down the barrel of another disappointing defeat at the Metropolitan when Yunus Musah and Hugo Duro put Valencia ahead two at halftime. For Atletico, Matthias Cunha made a retreat an hour later but the actual drama was saved for injury time, when Angel Correa equalized and two minutes later Mario Hermoso hit the winner to complete an incredible turnaround.
After six defeats in their previous 10 games, Atletico hope an exciting victory could serve as a springboard for the second half of the season.
Simon was excited at the final whistle, celebrating like a coach with players and fans who had questioned his own position in recent weeks.
“It was the first half we weren’t in,” Simon said.
“We feel frustrated, anxious, sad at half-time. We said if we want to lose, we have to lose with pride, with courage, and if we score a goal, the fans will take us back, that’s what happened. “
With Barcelona, Real Sociedad and Rayo Vallecano still to play, the defeat could have put Atletico in seventh place over the weekend.
Instead, they are three points away from La Real and four ahead of Barca, who play Getafe and Alaves on Sunday, respectively.
Valencia, meanwhile, would have been in the mix for the top four with the win but they are in ninth place, seven points behind Atletico in fourth.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute when Musa fired a superb shot into the bottom corner at the end of the break which started when Hermoso was easily spun by Goncalo Goodes.
Atletico was even weaker for the second, losing a handful of challenges on the edge of the area as the ball bounced around without a claim. Tony Lato was allowed to restrain him, and he was scrolled for Duro, who finished.
Joao Felix went off the ball in the second half and it was not clear whether the CTO was for the Portuguese’s sluggish performance or the decision to take him down.
But Kunha, who came in his place, pulled one back, leaving Yannick Carrasco free for sidefoot from outside the yard.
Atletico advanced. Luis Suarez shone, Hermoso was very high and Correa’s dive was wide from a distant post.
In the 91st minute, Carasco stepped forward again and when the feathery cross of his foot was out of reach of Suarez, Jaume Domenic threw it towards Korea, who fired.
Injury time was six minutes to find the winner and he finished 93rd. Kunha was the instigator this time, collecting, advancing and then firing towards the rear post, where Hermoso was released with an open net.
Organized by Sevilla Celta
Sevilla could not make a dramatic comeback on their own against Celta Vigo as another stumble gave Real Madrid a chance to advance six points to the top on Sunday.
Celta hit Sevilla twice in the first three minutes of the first half as Franco Cervi and Ego Espas gave the visitors a commanding lead at Ramon Sanchez Pizuan.
Papu Gomez’s stunning strike gave Sevilla hope and then Oliver Torres equalized four minutes later, with the hosts 16 minutes left to find the winner.
But Celta blocked a 2-2 draw which meant Sevilla narrowed the gap to just three points against Real Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti playing his home game against Elche on Sunday.
It marks the end of a rough weekend for Sevilla, who drew 1-1 against Valencia in the middle of the weekend after a surprise exit at the hands of local rivals Real Betis in the Copa del Rey last weekend.
His coach Julen Lopetegui has been suffering from covid symptoms this week and was not on the bench again with his assistant Pablo Sanz on the line.
“I can’t blame these people for anything because with a little bit of luck we could have won,” Senz said.