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Luis Suárez comes off bench to score Atlético debut double in rout of Granada

The Guardian logo The Guardian 27/09/2020 Sid Lowe at Wanda Metropolitano
Luis Suarez holding a racket: Photograph: Sergio Pérez/Reuters © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Sergio Pérez/Reuters

Luis Suárez spent most of his first game for Atlético Madrid sitting in the stands at empty Wanda Metropolitano watching his new team-mates win without him, then came on and showed them that they can win even better with him. There were just twenty minutes left when he ran onto the pitch, Atlético were already winning 3-0 and he only got fourteen touches, but it was enough for him to score two, provide another and win a penalty to complete a quite astonishing debut.

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At the final whistle, with Atlético having beaten Granada 6-1, Suárez headed down the tunnel laughing. It had been brief, but bloody hell it had been good. Even having the penalty he had won taken away again by VAR couldn’t stop him smiling.

He might have had a hat-trick – not just then but with another shot that flashed past the post – but but this was amazing enough already, the kind of day when he might even have enjoyed the time he didn’t play, seeing João Félix sparkle, scoring one and making another before departing at 3-0. The young Portuguese is not Messi, no, but Suárez may well find it fun alongside him.

Here he didn’t get the chance, but he will. Suárez waited 70 minutes to come on and barely seventy seconds to make an impact, a wonderful first time assist side-footed on the bounce and and on the turn releasing Marcos Llorente to make it 4-0. That was just his second touch. With his fourth, he hit an effort a fraction wide. A moment later, he couldn’t quite make contact as he sought a sharp exchange deep in the area, the danger palpable again.

Next, he tumbled after clashing with Fede Vivo, just as he had been about to pull the trigger again. Suárez had a long wait on the spot with the ball under his arm, but having won the penalty he lost it again, the referee eventually returning from the VAR screen having decided it wasn’t a foul after all. Not to worry. If anyone else thought the moment had gone, Suárez didn’t.

A long deep cross from Llorente found him drifting behind the defence at the far post, where he thudded a superb header beyond Rui Silva and into the far corner for the fifth. And then, as if this wasn’t impressive enough already, in the final minute he played a sharp one-two with Vitolo and swept a first-time shot past Silva. The ball thumped back off the post, but this wasn’t a day when he would be denied and he finished off his own rebound for the sixth goal of a sunny evening that had turned so good as to be a little silly, the new striker laughing as he left.

a close up of Luis Suarez with a racket in his hand: Luis Suárez (right) celebrates with Saúl Ñíguez after scoring the second of his two goals on his debut for Atlético Madrid. © Photograph: Sergio Pérez/Reuters Luis Suárez (right) celebrates with Saúl Ñíguez after scoring the second of his two goals on his debut for Atlético Madrid.
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