The drama was no less intense on the last day of the 2020/21 La Liga season with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the hunt.
Atletico were away at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla to relegation-threatened Real Valladolid and when Oscar Plano gave Valladolid the lead in the 18th minute; Real Madrid had the window to go top of the table if they could score, but it was Villarreal who scored at the Alfredo di Stéfano Stadium to further dent the ambition of Zinedine Zidane and his team’s chase for a 35th league title.
The first half ended that way-Atletico losing away to Valladolid and Real Madrid losing at home to Villarreal.
In the 55th minute, Karim Benzema scored but on VAR review, the referee chalked the goal off. Two minutes later, over at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla, Angel Correa equalised for Diego Simeone’s team.
Ten minutes afterward, Luis Suarez scored his 21st league goal to give the champions-in-waiting the lead and one hand on the trophy. Benzema finally equalised for the defending champions to take his goal tally to 23.
In added time, Luka Modric scored to give Los Blancos the lead, but it was not enough as Atletico held on to win 2-1 and win the title with 86 points, two better than Real Madrid.
In the hunt for Europa League action, Real Sociedad and Real Betis took the two places with wins over Osasuna and Celta Vigo while Villarreal qualified for the new Europa Conference tournament even though they have the chance to qualify for the Champions league if they beat Manchester United in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
Barcelona finished third with Lionel Messi allowed to miss the last day 1-0 win away at Eibar, who are relegated while Elche escaped relegation with a 2-0 win over Athletic Club. The other relegated teams are Valladolid and Huesca.
Messi finished as the top goal scorer with 30 goals from 35 league games; followed by Gerard Moreno, who finished with 23 goals. The goalkeeper with the most clean sheets was Jan Oblak-with 18.
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