(EFE) – When he began to question his figure as the ‘9’ of the leader of LaLiga Santander, Luis Suárez appeared. Two goals from the Uruguayan in his only two shots served a practical triumph (3-1) for Atlético de Madrid against Elche, rounded off with a penalty goal by Diego Costa, on his return after a month absent.
The leader, who did not find a convincing game against the Elche defense that would amend the blurred image of the Madrid derby against Real Madrid, did find the effectiveness of Suárez, who scored his seventh goal after almost a month without scoring, since quarantine for his positive for coronavirus with the selection.
The Uruguayan, whose nose was beginning to be a matter of debate -Simeone declared himself responsible for his situation for making him play as soon as the isolation ended-, provoked a penalty in his first action, invalidated by offside, unblocked Atlético in the first half after a measured assistance from English Kieran Trippier, who has been three in the last three days, and sentenced in the second.
Suárez freed an Atlético who had bet on the Frenchman Thomas Lemar, improved as a playmaker scoring two goals in the last four duels, instead of Saúl Ñíguez, in a gray moment of the game of the Elche, with which Marcos Llorente returned to the origin and He played midfielder with Koke, in a return of Simeone to 4-4-2.
His compatriot Jorge Almirón surprised by putting the young man on defense John Donald, a 20-year-old midfielder from the Elche subsidiary who in his first action committed a penalty for a grab on Suárez, who had won his back in a pass into space by Joao Félix. He was excused by the video refereeing, as he was offside.
After that scare, the game plan was clearly outlined: Atlético had to find the key to penetrate a defense from Elche of up to six players -the line of four and the two extremes- ordered and that was not demanded in the first half hour by a local team that with Llorente as a midfielder loses its acceleration on the wing and to which Lemar contributes will but not danger.
So much so that the only occasion worthy of such a name in 30 minutes arose from the board: in a centered free kick, Lemar opted to yield low to the inside to Koke, who made a wall for Llorente to try a placed shot that surprised Edgar Badía , still able to clear the ball by pure reflexes with his right leg.
Hardly anything, until Lemar’s driving ended in a pass to Llorente’s space for Trippier’s rise and a low center to the area in which Suárez skilfully advanced to John and Badía’s exit, brushing the ball just enough to house it in the goal and make the 1-0 that gave the locals peace of mind and he was rethinking his bet on Almirón, who changed John at half-time.
Scoring a goal is for this Atlético the balm that heals his doubts: when he fails, he despairs, but when he does, he is patiently seeking to increase the advantage. In those, in the second part Carrasco began to appear on the left, and from a strong and tense center of the Belgian appeared 2-0, which Luis Suárez rescued by throwing himself to the ground with Badía defeated and beating the Argentine side Juan Sánchez Miño, who he had been John’s replacement.
The game seemed seen for sentence, but Elche, who had not kicked on goal until then, reacted just in time with a goal from Lucas Boyé headed after a corner kick headed at the near post by Tete Morente.
Elche came to believe in the tie. Barragán did it with a shot from the corner of the area, shortly before he returned to the pitch of rojiblanco striker Diego Costa after six games of absence. His admission coincided with some discomfort from Joao Félix, who must have noticed something and threw himself on the ground, but walked away.
Boyé continued to threaten a very careless Atlético. With 15 minutes remaining, the Argentine striker had time to control, turn and shoot, forcing a saving hand from Oblak, the one that is never lacking in any game for the rojiblanco team.
The rebellion from Elche stayed there, because Diego Costa caused a penalty from Ivan Marcone in an action in which the Argentine struck the arm of the Spanish-Brazilian with his leg, and scored his second goal of the season scoring the maximum penalty for 3- 1 of the leader, who in three days is measured against Real Sociedad, a direct rival in the fight for the top of the championship.