Atletico Madrid celebrated their 120th anniversary in style with a comeback 3-1 win over Mallorca which moved them within two points of rivals Real Madrid in the race to be best of the rest in LaLiga.
The last time Atlético hosted a match of this magnitude on their centenary in 2003, they were beaten 1-0 by Osasuna, who were curiously managed at the time by Javier Aguirre, who was in the opposition dugout again this evening.
He was out to spoil the party once again, hoping the Colchoneros unfamiliar blue and white kit commemorating their basque roots would play with their minds.
It didn’t seem to be the case however with the home side controlling the early exchanges, but they went behind midway through the half as Mallorca did what they do best.
Jose Copete swung in a near post corner from the right, which remarkably evaded three Atletico defenders, allowing an unmarked Matija Nastasić to nod home to collect their league-high 10th goal from a corner.
Copete almost went from hero to villain with referee Juan Polido pointing to the spot as he dove in on Nahuel Molina. Luckily for him however, replays showed he got the faintest touch on the ball and VAR overruled.
Diego Simeone's teams epitomise grit and spirit, and they finally had the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time with their 16th attempt on goal.
Antoine Griezmann’s effort was parried well by Predrag Rajkovic, but the Frenchman seized on the second ball and passed inside to allow Rodrigo De Paul to rifle home from close range.
Nastasićc dealt with Alvaro Morata’s attacking threat remarkably well during the first half, but was withdrawn at the break due to injury and it took just 80 seconds in the Serbian’s absence for the forward to put his side in front.
Molina was once again causing trouble down the right, whipping in an enticing ball which was meat and drink for Morata who rose well and guided his header home.
It was game over 10 minutes from time as Griezmann’s vision saw Yannick Carrasco evade the offside trap to put him one-on-one with Rajkovic.
A drop of the shoulder was enough to sit the stopper down, before cruelly rounding him and rolling home to end a run of three meetings without victory for Atletico.
Almeria fans have waited a long time for an away victory in LaLiga, so their eight-year drought could not have come to an end at a better time as they beat relegation rivals Getafe 2-1. Luis Suarez was the star of the show as he netted early in both halves to move his side clear of the bottom three.
The visitors made the perfect start as Suarez broke the deadlock after just seven minutes by superbly finding the top corner after wriggling into space in the area.
That cranked up the pressure on under-fire manager Quique Sanchez Flores, who was soon left with his head in his hands after Borja Mayoral and Enes Unal had shots saved.
Nemanja Maksimovic then wasted a glorious opening when failing to properly time his header from six-yards out, before Unal was thwarted by Fernando Martinez for a second time.
Things then went from bad to worse before the break as the Azulones were reduced to 10 men, with Djene Dakonam receiving his marching orders for a professional foul on Suarez.
It was nearly 2-0 straight after the break, as Suarez forced David Soria into a stunning stop down to his right, but the forward wouldn’t be denied when he fired into the roof of the net from close range just before the hour mark.
That led to fury in the stands, with supporters cranking up the volume as they chanted for the manager to be sacked.
However, their side rallied, and after Omar Alderete had forced the goalkeeper into a superb stop with a fierce strike, Mayoral halved the deficit when converting from close range.
The hosts had momentum from there and had laid siege on the Almeria goal, but wasted a plethora of chances to level, the best of them falling to Alderete, who fired over the bar.
That meant the visitors desperately clung on for a huge victory, whereas Getafe made it five games without a win and remain perilously close to the bottom three.