First Division - Day 36

Deportivo La Coruña 3 - Atlético Madrid 2

Deportivo: Molina; Manuel Pablo, Andrade, Naybet, Romero; Sergio (Luque 76'), Mauro Silva; Víctor (Duscher 46'), Valerón, Fran (Capdevila 52'); Makaay. 4-2-3-1.
Atlético: Esteban; Contra, Coloccini, García Calvo, Sergi; Albertini, Nagore (Aguilera 70'); José Marí, Movilla (Jorge 43'), Luis García; Fernando Torres (Correa 62'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Deportivo: Manuel Pablo, Andrade, Sergio for Scaloni, Donato, Duscher / Atlético: Albertini, Luis García, Fernando Torres for Emerson, Aguilera, Javi Moreno.

0-1. 06. Albertini (penalty). After Naybet brought down José Marí from behind.
1-1. 13. Romero. Header which crept in on far post from Víctor cross.
1-2. 75. Correa. Turned ball in after Molina let cross from left through his hands.
2-2. 77. Makaay. Turned ball in from close up after low Luque cross.
3-2. 84. Valerón. Shot on far post after Luque set him up.

Deportivo La Coruña came back from behind twice to beat Atlético Madrid 3-2 and keep up the pressure on the top two. Irureta's side were up against it from the fifth minute when Naybet was sent off for bringing down José Marí in the area after a Romero slip let him through, Albertini converting the resulting penalty. But rather than giving up they fought back, and Romero made up for his mistake by scoring an equaliser, his slow header from Víctor's cross creeping past Esteban and trickling over the line on the far post.

By now Fran had dropped back as makeshift left back, but Depor still pushed forward and Valerón set up Makaay twice, the first cleared off the line by Sergi and the second going wide. Fernando Torres failed to take a good chance later on, and Aragonés finally decided to give him a rest and bring on Correa. It proved to be an inspired move, the Uruguayan forward taking advantage of a dreadful mistake by Molina to put his side back in front.

Irureta played his last card, bringing on Luque as his third change, and it paid off immediately as the young striker set up Makaay for him to get ahead of García Calvo and bundle the ball over the line. It was the Dutch forward's twenty-eighth league goal of the season, and effectively assured him of the European "Golden Boot" award as the top goalscorer in the continent.

But Depor wanted more, and six minutes from the end it was Luque again who produced a wonderful piece of skill to lay on the winning goal for Valerón. The Gallicians were back in the title race, and draws for Real Sociedad and Real Madrid means that only four points separate the top three. The last two weekends are going to be electric.