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Atlético Madrid closes in on the La Liga title with a dramatic return

SportsAtlético Madrid closes in on the La Liga title with a dramatic return

Atlético Madrid completed an incredible late rally against Osasuna to close in on a first La Liga title since 2014.

After Ante Budimir gave Osasuna the lead, Diego Simeone’s team trailed 1-0 heading into the last phases of the game, but two goals in the final eight minutes turned the game around and guaranteed Atleti’s fate remained in its own hands moving into the season finale.

Despite leading the game for the majority of the match, Atlético fell behind in the 76th minute when goalkeeper Jan Oblak was unable to prevent Budimir’s powerful header from crossing the line.

With the match and title seemingly slipping away from Atleti, Renan Lodi scored a brilliant goal after 82 minutes to give his side a glimmer of hope, before Luis Suarez completed the revival with a dramatic 88th-minute winner.

Suarez, 34, has had an outstanding individual season following his unceremonious departure from Barcelona at the end of last season after six years at the club. Barcelona’s loss has undoubtedly been Atlético’s benefit, with the Uruguayan scoring his 20th league goal of the season on Sunday.

Atlético Madrid celebrates after Luis Suarez’s game-winning goal.

It came on the same day that his former team was eliminated from the title race after a shock 2-1 home loss to Celta Vigo, which left Barcelona seven points behind Atlético Madrid with one game remaining.

Real Madrid’s narrow 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao ensured that the suspense will continue until the final day of the season, as Nacho’s goal held Zinedine Zidane’s side just two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Juventus on the verge of collapse

In Italy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus remain in danger of losing out on a Champions League spot next season.

Juventus remains one point behind AC Milan in the fourth and final Champions League qualification slot, despite a dramatic 3-2 victory over newly-crowned Serie A champion Inter Milan.

Andrea Pirlo’s side must defeat W88 club in their final league game and hope that AC Milan or Napoli lose points on the final day.

Even if Juventus lose out on a Champions League spot, Ronaldo could still feature in the competition next season. Sporting, the Portuguese club where he started his career, qualified for the competition by winning their first league title in 19 years.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates against Inter Milan after winning.

Dolores Aveiro, Ronaldo’s mother, is a die-hard Sporting fan and stated during the title celebrations that she will attempt to persuade her son to return to the club next season.

“I’ll talk to him [Ronaldo] and see what I can do,” she told Reuters.

Ronaldo’s latest deal with Sporting expires at the end of next season, but rumors suggest the 36-year-old is keen to return to the club. Juventus managing director Fabio Paratici, on the other hand, maintained earlier this year that the club would “hang on to him” amid its on-field struggles.

Near to the finish line

Lille’s goalless draw against Saint-Etienne helped Paris Saint-Germain to close the gap on leaders Lyon to one point with a comfortable 4-0 win over 10-man Reims.

As a result, Lille must now defeat mid-table Angers on the final day of the season in order to secure their first league title since 2011.

Paris Saint-Germain defeated Reims 4-0 to remain in contention for the Ligue 1 title.

Third position Monaco still has a remote chance of winning the trophy, but will need both Paris Saint-Germain and Lille to lose on the final day of the season and hope for a six-goal swing to at least equal Lille’s goal difference.

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