VIGO, Spain - Atlético Madrid began their LaLiga title defense with a 2-1 win away to Celta Vigo on Sunday thanks to two strikes from Argentine forward Ángel Correa although the game ended with a mass brawl and a player from each side was sent off.
Luis Suárez began the game on the bench and Correa took full responsibility for the team's attacking duties, firing Atlético ahead midway through the first half after a marauding run from Thomas Lemar.
Angel Correa puts the La Liga champs up with this splendid hit pic.twitter.com/1qXVzPhVjk— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 15, 2021
Celta leveled in the 59th minute with a penalty from captain Iago Aspas but Atlético soon restored their lead when Correa arrowed into the bottom corner after a superb diagonal ball from Saúl Ñíguez, who had been expected to leave the club during the close season.
The game ended in chaos as Celta captain Hugo Mallo and Atlético defender Mario Hermoso were shown red cards in added time for clashing off the ball while players all over the pitch could be seen confronting each other in the melee.
Atlético were fortunate not to concede an equalizer when Aspas rounded keeper Jan Oblak but the striker somehow missed the target with the goal gaping.
Iago Aspas had the equalizer but missed an open net. pic.twitter.com/VFjr2T7Gz8— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 15, 2021
The champions were forced to defend deep in their own half until the 10th minute of added time to make an ideal start in their bid to successfully defend a league title for the first time since 1951.
Atlético Madrid vs. Celta Vigo Higlights (08/15/2021)
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)