90min
Atlético Madrid

Atletico Madrid return to top of La Liga after dramatic 99th minute winner

Max Cooper
Thomas Lemar was Atletico's hero
Thomas Lemar was Atletico's hero / Eric Alonso/Getty Images
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Thomas Lemar claimed a dramatic 99th minute winner for Atletico Madrid on Sunday afternoon as they returned to the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win over Espanyol.

Los Colchoneros looked set to drop points for the second time in four Liga matches against the Periquitos, after Yannick Carrasco had cancelled out Raul de Tomas' first-half opener.

But Lemar was the hero for Diego Simeone's side, popping up in the 99th minute to fire a right-footed strike into the top corner of Diego Lopez's net.

Former Real Madrid star De Tomas had kicked off the scoring for Espanyol before half-time, netting to give the hosts a well-deserved lead. But their hard work was undone with 10 minutes to play when Carrasco somehow held onto the ball under extreme pressure before making space to blast home from a tight angle.

The spoils were set to be shared until the 99th minute - nine minutes into injury time - when Lemar weaved his way into the penalty area. The Frenchman then fired a terrific effort past Lopez, sending Simeone wild on the touchline.

Atleti's never say die attitude helped them across the line in the latter stages of matches last season, as they pipped Real Madrid and Barcelona to the Spanish title - lifting the trophy for the first time since 2014.

And they have continued in the same vein this year, stretching their unbeaten run to four games even though they should really have been beaten by Villarreal before the international break.

Unai Emery's men held a 2-1 lead deep into injury time, but Aissa Mandi inexplicably headed the ball into his own net under absolutely no pressure to level the scores. Atleti were extremely lucky to come away with a point on that day, but they worked hard to secure all three points on Sunday, crafting a wonderful winning goal against their rivals.

Atleti were extremely lucky to come away with a point on that day, but they worked hard to secure all three points on Sunday, crafting a wonderful winning goal against their rivals.

Los Rojiblancos now have 10 points from their four games played.

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