Finally! Morata relieved to end Atletico Madrid goal drought after VAR frustration

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The striker, on loan back in his native Spain from Chelsea, believes a title bid can be sustained after finally recording his first goal for the club

Alvaro Morata admitted he did not initially celebrate his first goal for Atletico Madrid as he feared he would once more be disappointed by VAR.

The Spain striker swept home Filipe Luis' cross to break the deadlock in Sunday's 2-0 La Liga win over Villarreal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

It ended a nine-game drought in league football for Morata, who had goals disallowed by VAR in the 3-1 loss to Real Madrid and 2-0 Champions League win over Juventus this month.

The Chelsea loanee was relieved to see the officials allow him a moment to savour at last.

"Finally!" he said, as quoted by AS. "I'm very happy with the three points. It was important to get three points at our own stadium.

"I was joking with my team-mates and until I saw all the officials, I didn't celebrate it."

The win, which was secured by a late strike from Saul Niguez, moved Atletico back to within seven points of LaLiga leaders Barcelona.

Morata insists they will not give up in the title race until it is mathematically beyond them.

"We'll have to wait. If we play like we're doing, all together, it's very tough to hurt us," he said.

"Barcelona are a great team but we'll fight until the end, as long as there are points to play for."

Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid Real Madrid La Liga 09022018

Atletico boss Diego Simeone declared himself satisfied with the showing from his side which capped off a productive week.

Having already edged out Rayo Vallecano and overcome Juventus in the Champions League, the Rojiblancos are full of confidence.

Simeone hopes Morata will benefit from that, with the 26-year-old deserving of an effort that everybody was initially wary of acknowledging for fear of more interference from the match officials.

The Argentine coach said: “The three games this week were difficult and even more so with the added emotion from Wednesday.

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“At the start of the match they had a chance that [Jan] Oblak dealt with as he tends to do. Then we found our lines and Morata managed to score. We were happy about that. 

“We didn’t know whether to bother celebrating or not though, as the other two he scored were ruled out even though they were valid.”

 

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