A highly eventful weekend for Portuguese abroad was given the perfect finale on Sunday evening when João Félix scored his first La Liga goal since September for Atletico Madrid.
The 20-year-old has been out of action for the past few weeks with a muscle problem, causing him to miss the recent Champions League victory over Liverpool, but Félix was restored to Diego Simeone’s matchday squad as a substitute for the visit of Villarreal.
Atletico ran out 3-1 winners on the night, with Félix joining the action at 1-1 after former Benfica man Angel Correa had ensured the hosts went in level to cancel out Paco Alcacer’s opener. Captain Koke put Atletico ahead (64’) and ten minutes later Félix found the net to make the game safe with a left-footed shot which took a deflection on its way past Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo.
Félix had not scored for Atletico since November 11th when he netted against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League, while it was the former Benfica man’s first league goal since he registered against Mallorca on 25th September. After the match, Simeone said: “I am glad to have these players back, and Trippier and Félix were important in the result tonight.”
Félix will be hoping for a first start in over a month when Atletico travel to bottom of the table Espanyol in La Liga next Sunday.
By Sean Gillen