BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Luis Suárez scored two goals to help Atlético Madrid beat Elche 3-1 and ensure it stayed at the top of the Spanish league on Saturday.
The league leaders moved three points clear of Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. Sociedad visits Levante later on Saturday, while Madrid visits Eibar on Sunday.
Suárez’s double ensured Atlético bounced back from its 2-0 defeat at Madrid last round, its first defeat in the competition since February.
The Uruguay striker’s seven goals this season make him joint-top scorer of the league along with Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal and Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas.
Suárez may not be the dominant scorer he was at Barcelona before changing clubs this summer, but the 33-year-old striker is still a world-class finisher when his teammates get him the ball in scoring position.
He put the hosts ahead in the 41st minute with a subtle touch to roll a long pass by Kieran Trippier past on-rushing goalkeeper Édgar Badía.
Suárez added a second goal in the 58th when he slid to sweep home a low ball sent to the far post by Yannick Carrasco.
Lucas Boyé got one back for Elche with a header in the 64th and drew a one-handed save from Jan Oblak minutes later.
But substitute Diego Costa put the result beyond doubt when he earned and converted a penalty with 10 minutes remaining. It was Costa’s first appearance after missing seven games due to injury.
Later, fifth-place Barcelona hosts Valencia, fourth-place Villarreal is at Osasuna, and sixth-place Sevilla faces Valladolid.
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