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La Liga

Joao Felix and Suarez at the double as Atletico go third

Atletico Madrid went third in LaLiga after doubles from Joao Felix and Luis Suarez sealed a 4-1 victory over lowly Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.

It had looked like Diego Simeone’s side would be denied a sixth straight top-flight win when Gonzalo Escalante cancelled out Joao Felix’s opener in the 63rd minute.

However, Suarez’s penalty and Joao Felix’s second wrapped up maximum points at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Suarez prodded in a fourth in the 90th minute as Atleti moved level with second-placed Sevilla on 57 points, although Julen Lopetegui’s side does have a game in hand.

Atleti thought they had opened the scoring in the ninth minute, yet Thomas Lemar’s finish was ruled out for offside.

Two minutes later, though, they went ahead as an unmarked Joao Felix superbly headed Sime Vrsaljko’s cross into Fernando Pacheco’s top-left corner.

Yet a sluggish start to the second half meant Atleti had to wait until the hour mark for another clear sight of goal, Marcos Llorente whipping wide from just outside the area.

Escalante stole into the area and headed Edgar Mendez’s sumptuous cross past Jan Oblak.

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However, Florian Lejeune fouled substitute Matheus Cunha in the area, and Suarez duly slammed his penalty down the middle.

After Cunha’s initial shot, Joao Felix got his second in the 82nd minute with a vicious close-range effort.

Suarez added gloss to the scoreline in the 90th minute with an excellent finish.

What does it mean? The late show maintains Atleti’s winning run.

Atleti started at a breakneck pace following an emotional pre-match tribute to Simeone’s father, Carlos, who died last month. Still, they failed to put the game out of Alaves’ reach before Escalante’s excellent header.

However, they had no issues taking their chances in the closing stages, with that late rally ensuring a sixth consecutive LaLiga win for the first time since January last year when they won eight on the spin.

Atleti is 12 points shy of Real Madrid leaders, but it looks good for a Champions League place.

Joao Felix is in the thick of it again.

Joao Felix has been involved in eight goals in his last six games in all competitions.

The same as his 33 games before that (four goals, four assists).

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Griezmann upstaged

Suarez replaced Antoine Griezmann shortly after the hour mark, and the France international might struggle to win his place back after his team-mate’s decisive contribution.

Griezmann failed to have a single shot during his time on the pitch and only played one key pass.

Credit also has to substitute Cunha, who played a part in all three of Atleti’s second-half goals.

What’s next?

Atleti travels to England to face Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Alaves, meanwhile, are away at Osasuna next Sunday.

Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.

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