You can’t doubt Luis Suárez.
He may not move well. He may lose the ball too often. His Atlético Madrid side may not have figured everything out yet this season.
But El Pistolero’s game-winning double against Getafe on Tuesday sent his team back to the top of LaLiga for the time being.
The rojiblancos struggled mightily in the opening half hour at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, failing to register a single shot on target and looking second-best from a physical standpoint. Getafe did not look at all like a team that had quit on its coach.
Atlético did not deal well with the hosts’ energetic pressing and lacked control in the center of the park — Héctor Herrera was left on an island with Marcos Llorente often bombing forward from the middle. Ángel Correa tried, but he could not influence the game from a wide position, and Antoine Griezmann barely had a touch.
Suárez had Atlético’s first good chance after 35 minutes, when he pounced on an errant Djené Dakonam back header and lashed a volley directly at goalkeeper David Soria. But the next big chance would be Getafe’s, and it would result in the hosts scoring their first goal against Atlético in nearly 10 years.
With just seconds left until halftime, Atleti cleared a corner, but only as far as Djené. The Getafe captain launched a hopeful long ball into the box, and Jan Oblak unwisely rushed off his line to grab it. He fumbled the ball, the azulones reset the play, and Nemanja Maksimović’s cross to Stefan Mitrović bounced off Oblak’s arm, then the post, and then into the net.
Simeone made no changes at halftime, and Atlético were more aggressive to begin the second 45. The visitors buzzed around the final third and Griezmann attempted two long shots before the hour mark, yet Getafe’s door remained slammed shut.
Suárez flashed a header off the crossbar on 68 minutes before Savić had one saved a few minutes later. But Carles Aleñá was sent off in the 73rd minute following a VAR review — he had cut down Matheus Cunha in midfield, driving a stud into the back of his right leg.
Atlético had a chance almost immediately to capitalize on the numerical advantage — and the champions did just that.
In the 78th minute, Mario Hermoso sent a pinpoint cross into the box, which Suárez settled with his right foot before scoring the equalizer with his left. The goal — the Uruguayan’s first in September — stood after a quick VAR review for a potential offside, and Atlético finally had some good news at the Coliseum.
More good news would follow at the very end. In a throwback to last season, Suárez grabbed a last-gasp winner at exactly 90 minutes and zero seconds. Šime Vrsaljko’s long, looping cross made it to Suárez at the back post, and the 34-year-old escaped Mitrović’s mark and did what he does best — sealing the three points with a clinical header.
The colchoneros’ road show will take them to Alavés next, on Saturday afternoon.
GET XI Soria; Iglesias, Mitrović, Cuenca, Djené, Olivera; Florentino (Poveda 90’+2), Maksimović, Aleñá (red card 73’); Macías (Ünal 67’), Mata (Silva 77’).
Goals Oblak own goal 45’
ATM XI Oblak; Trippier (Hermoso 62’), Savić, Giménez, Lodi (De Paul 62’); Llorente, Herrera (Vrsaljko 84’), Correa, Carrasco; Griezmann (Cunha 67’), Suárez.
Goals Suárez 78’ 90’