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 LaLiga 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.
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“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.”
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