Atletico Madrid’s Luis Suarez struck two late goals to give the LaLiga champions a 2-1 win at Getafe on Tuesday after the hosts were reduced to 10 men late in the second half.
The victory took Atletico top of the standings on 14 points from six games, a point ahead of Real Madrid who have a game in hand, while Getafe are bottom with no points.
The home side went in front on the stroke of halftime with a header from Stefan Mitrovic after Atletico keeper Jan Oblak had uncharacteristically spilled a cross.
It was the first time Getafe had scored against Atletico in 1,583 minutes of LaLiga football, ending Diego Simeone’s remarkable run of never conceding against his side’s neighbours in the league since taking charge of the club in December 2011.
Getafe played the final phase of the match with 10 men after Carles Alena was shown a straight red card in the 74th minute for raking his studs down the back of the leg of Atletico substitute Matheus Cunha.
The sending off galvanised the visitors and it took a superb double save from David Soria to prevent Angel Correa and then Suarez from equalising.
But the 10 men could only hold on for so long and Atletico levelled when Suarez controlled a cross from substitute Mario Hermoso with his right foot before blasting the ball into the net with his left in the 78th minute.
The Uruguayan then snatched the winner in added time, ghosting away from his marker Mitrovic to head home a cross from Sime Vrsaljko to score his second of the game after netting once in his previous six appearances in all competitions.
“Every player at the top level has to learn to live with criticism but what I do is never give in, I’ll never get beat down by criticism,” Suarez told reporters.
“Above all I’m happy because of the circumstances of the game and that we managed to turn the scoreline on its head after.
“We still need to improve and solve a few things that we are not doing well but things will improve because the season has barely started.”
Suarez’s goals gave Atletico a second consecutive away victory in added time following Thomas Lemar’s strike in the 98th minute in a 2-1 win at Espanyol earlier this month.
Simeone’s side had been held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao in their last game and were without record signing Joao Felix through suspension after the Portuguese was sent off.
The Argentine coach started Suarez with Antoine Griezmann in attack but for the third league game in a row he took off the French forward, who has offered little since returning to Atletico on loan from Barcelona on transfer deadline day.
Suarez had also contributed little to Atleti’s play but the Uruguayan, who fired them to the title with 21 goals last season, showed his enduring qualities as a ruthless scorer to grab victory.
“We had a chance to score the second goal but didn’t do it and when we saw the ball fall towards Suarez we all knew what was going to happen,” said Getafe coach Michel.
“I feel terrible because the team did so many things well but once again we’re left with nothing.”