SpainDraw Athletic Bilbao 1-1 away from home, Atletico remain in sixth place and 15 points behind Barca’s leaders.
Goals: Muniain 37 ‘- Costa 39’.
Barca’s 4-0 victory on the evening of June 13 put Atletico in a position to be forced to win to dream of competing for the La Liga championship, although the most realistic goal of Diego Simeone’s teachers and students is now in the top 4. Determined. won all three points of Atletico concretized by the early game opportunities. In the sixth minute, Jose Gimenez headed high into the near post, sending the ball wide of the post. A few minutes later, Yannick Carrasco had a chance to finish in a comfortable position, but the Athletic Bilbao net still did not vibrate.
Lacking Joao Felix and putting Alvaro Morata on the bench, the surge in attack Atletico is looking forward to Carrasco, who is on loan from the Dalian club. Together with Anfield hero Marcos Llorente, Carrasco creates a permanent danger on the wing corridor, but in the final moments, the Belgian star lacks precision.
It wasn’t until the middle of the first half that Bilbao got the ball. After the missed opportunities of Inaki Williams and Berchiche, the Basque side opened the scoring in the 37th minute. Iker Muniain swung his outer cheek very fast on the edge of the penalty area, after a cross on the left. Jan Oblak was out of sight, reacting slowly a beat, and when the goalkeeper flew away, he could not push the ball off the line.
Compared to previous seasons, Atletico’s defense this season no longer holds certainty. The last four matches before the Covid-19 break, the Madrid team were conceded. The fall of the defense has led Atletico to draw 12 matches in La Liga this season – the highest of the 20 participating teams. Instead of competing for the championship, they were in a strange sixth place, only one point behind Real Sociedad.
When Simeone stood restless on the pitse road, Diego Costa was able to reassure his teacher with the equalizer just two minutes after Muniain’s goal. The Spanish striker broke the offside trap, took the slot in the penalty area, before finishing the corner, leveling the score 1-1.
Two goals in two minutes did not make the match more attractive, because both Bilbao and Atletico tightened their squad after the break. During the last 45 minutes, each team only had two shots in the penalty area. In such a stalking situation, the visitors proved their bravery with the opportunity to nearly score 10 minutes before the time was up. Santiago Arias infiltrated the right flank, took the ball and bounced off the post. However, the ball went to the right position of goalkeeper Simon.
Outside the courtyard, Simeone jumped up and raised her arms around her head, looking regretful. The 13th draw of the season made Atletico 15 points behind Barca’s leaders, and the risk of being top 4 dropped if Sociedad beat Osasuna in the late match tonight.
Bilbao: Simon; Capa, Alvarez, Martinez, Berchiche (Nunez 83 ‘); D. Garcia; Lopez (Vesga 63 ‘), Muniain (De Marcos 83’); Williams (Kodro 90 ‘+ 1), R. Garcia, Cordoba (Sancet 64’).
Subs not used: San Jose, Etxebarria, Larrazabal, Herrerin, Lekue, Gomez, Kodro, Balenziaga.
Atletico: Oblak; Trippier (Arias 64 ‘), Gimenez, Savic, Lodi; Koke (Herrera 78 ‘), Llorente (Correa 68’), Partey, Saul; Carrasco (Lemar 63 ‘), Costa (Morata 63’).
Subs not used: Adan, Morata, Saponjic, Hermoso, Riquelme, Camello, Sanchez, Moya.