A Luis Suárez header gave Atlético Madrid a 1-0 home win over Getafe in Diego Simeone’s 500th game in charge, keeping them top of La Liga and ending the year with an unbeaten home record.
Suárez glanced in a lofted pass from Yannick Carrasco in the 20th minute and Atlético ground out the win to preserve their remarkable record of never conceding a goal to Getafe since Simeone became their manager nine years ago.
Atlético went into the match after being a dealt a double setback of Kieran Trippier being suspended for 10 weeks for a betting infraction and Diego Costa leaving the club after rescinding his contract. The absences did not seem to affect them and even though this was far from their most impressive performance of the season, they always looked in control.
Koke admitted Atlético had not been at their best but said: “We knew who we were up against a difficult team and we weren’t always precise with our passes but it’s three more points, which is what we wanted before the game.”
The midfielder added. “We’ve had a spectacular year, after the lockdown we underwent a big change and took a step forward in the way we play, working and competing day in day out.”
He also paid tribute to Simeone, who has transformed Atlético’s fortunes since succeeding Gregorio Manzano in 2011. “We should congratulate the coach, it’s a lot of years in charge he’s given the team a lot of stability and he’s fundamental to the way we are,” Koke said.
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Real Madrid were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at struggling Elche, losing ground to Atlético. A header from Luka Modric gave the champions the lead in the 20th minute but Fidel Chaves equalised from the penalty spot early in the second half.
The Elche forward Lucas Boye hit the post, while the Real defenders Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos were each thwarted by fine saves from Édgar Badía.
The draw halted a six-game winning streak in all competitions for Real and left them second in the standings on 33 points, two behind Atlético, who have two games in hand. Elche are 15th on 16 points.