La Liga: Athletic 2 – 2 Atlético

Rojiblancos held at San Mamés as Griezmann golazo earns a point

Griezmann was involved throughout the match

Griezmann was involved throughout the match

Antoine Griezmann saved a point at San Mamés for Atlético Madrid on Sunday afternoon, firing home a stunning equaliser in a tight 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao.

The home side turned the match on it’s head after falling behind early on to Koke’s cross that went straight in, but were denied the win by Atleti’s mercurial Frenchman ten minutes from time.

Coming off of a 3-0 win over Eibar in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, the visitors were coming into the match in high spirits after a good performance and an improved run of 6 wins from 7 matches.

It took less than two minutes from them to go in front at San Mamés, the goal coming in inadvertent fashion as Athletic and goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz seemingly fell asleep at the back.

Koke picked up the ball on the right and whipped it into the box, but the cross bypassed everybody including intended target Griezmann and nestled in the bottom corner for 1-0.

However, despite their cup exploits Atleti were also coming into the match with a lot of fatigue having played 6 matches in 19 days, and their lack of freshness showed as time went on.

Athletic took control of the half from then on and pushed from the equaliser, and although the visitors were having some joy on the counter attack and almost scored a second through Carrasco, they were soon punished.

Just before half-time, Iñigo Lekue was afforded time and space on the edge of the box, and needed no invitation to send a rasping shot past Miguel Ángel Moyá and into the top corner.

It was a sucker punch for Atleti just before the break and changed the whole dynamic of the game, with Athletic now having the momentum to go on and find another goal.

Ten minutes into the second half that’s exactly what they did did, and once again it was poor defending from Diego Simeone’s side that allowed them to score.

Diego Godín failed to track the run of Oscar de Marcos, and he was in the right place at the right time to ghost in and head Raúl García’s cross past Moyá to put los Leones in front.

It was a familiar story for Atleti fans, who before the match had taken just one point from 5 matches against La Liga’s top seven and had shown an uncharacteristically soft centre in tough away trips such as these.

Things weren’t help by the referee, or more specifically the linesman, who flagged incorrectly against Antoine Griezmann to deny him a delightful lobbed goal from a tight angle. It was one of a number of poor decisions he was guilty of making.

Thankfully, there was still time for Griezmann to score an even more delightful equaliser not long after, the Frenchman picking up Torres’ pass 30 yards from goal and lashing it in off of the post.

It was some strike from the former Real Sociedad man, ever popular in the San Mamés for his past with Athletic’s biggest rival. He now has five goals in 2017, and 14 in total this season.

With ten minutes on the clock, both teams pushed for the winner but a draw was the right result in the end, neither side deserving to lose a match that was played on the edge for the whole 90 minutes.

Atleti will be frustrated to lose more ground on leaders Real Madrid, but under the circumstances and with Athletic not far behind in seventh, it could’ve been a lot worse.

On Wednesday we return to the Basque country for the second leg of our Copa del Rey tie against Eibar, before a third successive trip to the region next week to play Alavés in La Liga.

Player ratings: Moyá 5, Vrsaljko 6, Godín 5, Giménez 6, Filipe 6, Gabi 6, Saúl 6, Koke 7, Carrasco 6, Griezmann 7 (MOTM), Gameiro 5. Subs: Torres 6, Gaitán 5, Correa 6.


  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I think it’s pretty obvious why we ended up with one point instead of three. Let’s hope Simeone learns from this and we push on from here.

    Aupa Atleti

  • George

    It is Sauls fault…that’s all…We should sign Busquets or Modric…Also we should fire Simeone and get Gary Neville…We could also sell Saul and get a bag of potatoes since he worth nothing..

  • Vasile Oncea

    Sorry man but why is Torres 6? I’m not hear to spam but please watch the match first. Gameiro is 5. I don’t have anything against Torres but Gameiro was much better than him.

  • Hannu

    Actually Gameiro was quite awful. He just cant match with defenders. He loses every time. I would put both Torres and Correa before him.

  • Hannu

    Absolutely!

  • nandes

    Hard for Gameiro to do anything when we were playing so defensively in the first half and he had to create chances on his own. Both Torres and Gameiro will continue to struggle as long as all they have to do is chase impossible long balls

  • nandes

    I’m so tired of seeing all these trolls and people making fun of our players on here. There’s a way to criticize and be respectful at the same time, you know. We’re all here to support the same team

  • rquaresma

    I just can’t believe how bad we play. 2 goal of Bilbao on Josema account. Saul was awful in the miedfield createvly. Torres once again dead man in the attack after entering. Who gave those 3 rating 6… Play Carrasco-Griezman-Correa and Koke-Gabi-Gaitan in 4-3-3 formation for Jesus sake ! Bring back Juanfran on the rigth back and rotate Savic and Lucas next to Godin. Sell the crappy Josema for over 60 mln. please ! Appologise to the real club LEGEND and tha last real man played for this club Raul Garcia for letting him go. Cholooooo….

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    After all those long comments from me and from many other people, after I’ve just compared our results when we played with 2 CMs and when we played with 4 or 3 and proved that 3 CMs doesn’t make our defense more solid, but on contrary, we conceded much more goals under that system, and after it became very damn obvious that when Gabi & Koke are on the pitch, Saul gives very little both defensively and offensively, unless of course when he scores every 7 or 8 games (I’ve never regretted saying that I was upset when he was the one who scored vs Bayern last season, I know Simeone very well and I knew this will happen). After we have being fucked in the ass many times since last season when we go full defensive after the 1-0, after all of this and more, Simeone is still committing the same mistakes.

    No Jeronamo, he will never learn, that’s it for me, you win Cholo, I give up.
    What we should really hope for is to finish 4th, because even 3rd seems almost impossible right now, Sevilla -who play real football- are 7 points ahead (and scored 8 more goals than us by the way), unless you’re thinking about finishing above Barca, or being even more optimistic like Billy and still thinking about catching up with Real Madrid.

    That’s the way we played last season when people didn’t understand why we were “whining” and told us to shut up, well, can you see it now?!
    Two things prevented what happened this season from happening last season:
    Griezmann and luck.

  • Koke

    Can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic? Yes, we should sign Busquets or Modric, obviously they would leave their clubs and take like a 60% salary cut to join their rivals (but on current form idk if we can call ourselves rivals of Barca and Madrid).

    Why is everyone hating on Saul? I would rather see Gaitan play over him too but I think he’s a valuable player to have and has a very bright future. He’s saved our ass so many times with his goals and even though he’s not the most creative I blame the system more than him. Tell me how many 21/22 year old midfielders are starters in Europe’s top teams? I blame Simeone for playing him out of position as an CAM or a winger, obviously he’s going to struggle there when he’s not a creative playmaker or pacy trickster. He ought to be molded into a skillful DM or a Yaya Toure type box to box player.

    With that being said, I think he needs more bench time, even though he’s definitely not the cause of all our problems. Gaitan and Thomas should compete for the third CM spot because they’re both so much better at playmaking, and we should bring back Oliver in the summer.

  • George

    I m definitely sarcastic…I just think is insane that today we are blaming all this on Saul..I totally agree with you..Saul today was good especially first half..If Saul wasn t on the line up..It will be all about Simeone and his defensive tactics..Judging after a loss is the easiest thing to do…Everyone is a coach after the end of a game..

  • George

    You seriously believe that we tied today because of Saul?Anything new to say..I used to like a lot of your comments at the start of the season but know you are just judging and you don t even try to use arguments..

  • Koke

    Ok good. Yes, a 22 year old player should not shoulder the blame for a team in which almost everybody is at an all time low of poor form. I don’t know why everyone keeps talking about Modric and Busquets as if they’re an option for us. Those are one of a kind players, even Barca wishes they had a Modric and Real wishes for a Busquets, let alone our club that has a fraction of their budget and a transfer ban. I think the real crime is that we do have players available that can do similar work, but we leave them on the bench or play them out of position until they get alienated and leave out the back door. I refuse to believe our problem is personnel. I know if we sold Gameiro back to Sevilla or Villareal next season he would start scoring more goals again.

    The fact that I couldn’t tell if you were sarcastic just shows how extreme a lot of opinions on here have been lately.

  • Gol

    How about this?

    Correa-Gameiro-Griezmann
    Gabi-Gaitan-Koke
    Filipe-Gimenez-Godin-Vrsaljko
    Moya

  • Roberto

    Atletico made 2 points against in 6 games against the top 7 teams. This is by far the worst performance of all top 7 teams in the big games. In all other 13 games atleti made 33 points. That is the best and most solid and most accurate performance in the games against the small teams of all the top 7, except real madrid (32 points out of 12 games). atleti shall go on to be so concentrated in the small games. In the big games atletico must change the system, its time to try completely new variants. But do not change the system against the small ones!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Again with “judging after one loss and one game” bullshit.

    We have been criticizing almost every week for more than two years now, even after wins, ugly, lucky, late, 1-0 or shootout wins.

    In case you didn’t read any of my previous comments:
    It was never about Saul for me, or Torres or Savic or Gimenez or Jackson or any player, it’s about Simeone.

  • Ucce

    It’s about mentality. So yes, it’s about Simeone. But a draw away to Bilbao is not a terrible result in itself. The really bad thing though is that we are far behind the top 3, so we have to win these games, and also that we stopped playing when we were ahead.

  • George

    Simeone never played possession football ..From the first day he came it was all about counter attacks or set pieces or just winning the game no matter what…If we play with 2 CM,2 Wingers,2 strikers like you want doesn t mean we are going to have the ball and open tight defenses..it is just going to be more effective counter-attacks…Simeone doesn t want to play this kind of football and also he doesn t have the players..And no Oliver Torres wouldn t change nothing because he is not better than Saul…Yes,his passing is way better and everything else is worse..Plus,you are the one who stated that Diego Costa is gone and we should move on,well Oliver torres is gone (at least for now) and you should move on..

  • George

    Plus we are losing against big teams now and do you know why because our defense has a problem and that problem is not Saul it is called mentality….

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    It would haven’t been terrible if we didn’t drop 6 points against Alaves, Leganes & Espanyol because Simeone filled the pitch with defensive players and left all our creative ones on the bench.

    I was the first one here who called for patience and calmness after losing in Anoeta, Sanchez Pizjuan, El Madrigal and losing the derby, considering the strength of those teams, especially at their stadiums, and considering the individual errors we made in all those games.
    I wish we’ve got something from those games, at least a point or two, but there is always a big chance to lose those kind of games with any formation and any performance.
    But now we can’t afford to drop points even in tough games, we have dropped enough, I said even before Betis game that the game in San Mames is a must win one.

    I slept last night dreaming about closing the 5 points gap with Sevilla to 2 points, now they are 7.
    The Champions League is at stake, and failing to qualify to it next season either by finishing out of top 4 or getting knocked out from the playoffs -a possibility that everybody is ignoring- will be a disaster on many level, literally.

    Failing to qualify to UCL with a squad like ours is a huge failure that calls to sacking the manager in many other clubs.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m not the one who keeps talking about Oliver -maybe I did it once or twice- I think you are confusing me with somebody else.
    I also said couple of times that Oliver will never put a foot again at Atleti as long as Simeone is here. I did move on.
    However, Gaitan and Correa are both here.

    I don’t care if we play counter-attacking football or possession football, I don’t care about 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, I don’t even understand a lot about tactics like some of you as I said before, I don’t want to play attractive football, I want results, real results, not 1-0 at the last minute at home against teams who are fighting relegation, and I don’t want to keep passing the round of 16 of UCL by shootouts, I want to pass it by a thrashing 5-1 on aggregate like we did in 2014.

    I want that by any style and any plan and any formation, I think what I and many other people have been suggesting is the answer, maybe we are wrong, but Simeone’s current way is wrong too, and it was wrong since last season but that was masked by a huge amount of luck, by low level of competitiveness in La Liga and by Grizi’s brilliance.
    He needs to figure it out, or he needs to leave.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    Well, the second half of the season is about to start, since we are still in 4th, it is still an open season.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I think Atleti old school 4-4-2 defense does have its purpose, but that second goal, Oscar de Marcos was completely unmarked. I was also mad at the first goal that Griezmann scored. That line judge should be fired. He got the call wrong and robbed us of 2 points. I did like Simeone’s response and put in all offensive players. I think he should start that way and then go defensive.

  • Ucce

    Yes, I agree with everything you said there.

  • Gol

    It’s Gabi’s fault. He should put Simeone in his place.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Finally someone recognise that 2 CB means Koke and Gabi, i was attacked for criticising Simeone when he took of wrong CB , also there was no need to take of Carrasco , Gaitan could’ve played on right, Correa could’ve come in for Gameiro, Anyways,Correa plays much better as striker than right winger. There was no urgency to keep posession after we equalised, we were playing long ball, and last 13minutes had very little play, no pressure was put on AB. Compare this to Sevilla who’re keeping ball and getting 2 goals in last 10-15minutes almost everytime they need. Saul out, as i said before dude is useless as CM.

  • Vagabond Messi

    You seriously think Saul needs to play every single minutes of every single match even when he plays like sht ? Can’t you seperate your personal feeling for him from his performance on the pitch?

  • Vagabond Messi

    How good is Saul? He can’t create , he can’t defend. System is falling because one of our CB plays every single minute and does nothing. Saul needs to be benched based on his awful performance week in week out , let someone else play.

  • George

    No he shouldn’t play every single match..Last week against Eibar it could have been Gabi/Koke midfield..but Simeone decided to give Gabi some rest..Let me get this straight to you we have three midfielders Gabi/Koke/Saul…despite what most of you believe here noone of them is Defensive midfielder nor an attacking one…so as a 22 year old box to box Saul is really good..Not constantly because a 22 year old can’t perform all the time.. Correa doesn perform all the time as well, actually he played like sht a couple of times but he is the one that always need more time to show off…Well,I believe you can t separate your personal feeling because today Saul was positive and the reason you can tolerate more bad plays from players like Correa is because they are attacking minded and you think they will end up like Messi..(Fun fact: Correa is my favorite youngster in the squad)

  • AnonX

    That was one of the best long shot goals in the game looking back on how small the open goal margin was.

    Not sure many veteran fans would disagree,
    Best Striker on the Planet !

  • Vagabond Messi

    Saul has been sht for months, yet he gets every single minutes. Never saw a CM who can’t defend or create. Wtf ,man you’re comparing Correa to Saul? He hardly gets time, plays different position to Saul, Whereas saul gets to play every single mimute of every match and does nothing aprt from scoring once in 8-10matches. There’s no need to play Saul, let Koke and Gabi play as CM while Carrssco and Gaitan occupy left and right position respectively . Correa can Rotate with Gameiro or can play as sub. Saul couldn’t even give a 3m correct pass yesterday and he’s a fking CM? Seriously bro?

  • AnonX

    It’s true Simeone doesn’t play possesion football, but it’s also equally true that we cannot go any better with 3cms unless 2 of these cms are creative playmakers.
    In our list, we currently only have Koke, Tiago and Gaitan who make a living as this. Gabi will always to busy clearing off the midfield.

    That’s my personal assessment.

  • Vagabond Messi

    I understand that we can’t play posession football, but you need posession when you’re down or need a goal in last 10minutes to win the match, did you see us doing nothing in last 10min and playing long ball when we needed to keep posession and pile up pressure. Sevilla are getting 2plus goals in last 10minutes whenever they need it, and for that they keep posession and pile up pressure. 3CM is not the problem, problem is Saul is not a CM, it didn’t help much when Gabi was taken off and only 2 CMs were on field. It’s high time we send Saul to bench and just play 2 CMs with Carrasco and Gaitan.

  • AnonX

    Yes, that’s what I think most of all here will be hoping to see it being successfully implemented.

    Aupa Atleti !!

  • AnonX

    But Gaitan needs to improve a bit of his ball winning skills like how Grizi is doing to gain some Trust from Simeone.

  • Mutumbo

    Just leave already you whining little fat bitch. I’ve had it till here with your bitching and moaning. If you don’t like it then either shut the fuck up or get the fuck out of here and support Barca like you used to do before jumping on the Atleti bandwagon. (Yes I have screenshots of your twitter account from 2012 and before where you supported Barca)

    Shut the fuck up!!

  • Nayak Omahatkom

    Everyone here should suck on these nuts. None of you deserve To be Atleti fans. Turning against your team, manager and players when they need you the most.
    This is such an Arsenal fan character.
    Fuck off!

  • Mista

    Man shut the fuck up. Everyone knows you started supporting Atleti 2 years ago. You just google stats and shit to seem like you know shit. You don’t even know who Mista was. Smdh

  • Midair

    How about you leave you whiny little fat cunt.

  • Omak

    Man just shut the fuck

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Well I’m hoping that it changes, I’m still hoping that we catch up, heck I’m hoping that something hits Simeone in the head and makes him see things the way I have for two seasons.

    We used to play game by game, we used to plan for each opponent and we used to give our all on the pitch but a lot of the time I don’t see that now.

    I understood why he started with that line up yesterday and we did start that match brightly. The first half was defiantly ours for the taking but after about 10 minutes in we switched to defending (which drove me crazy) and I just couldn’t understand why we would choose to invite pressure instead of trying to get another goal to secure the win.

    I’m also fed up and that’s why I’m tired pointing out the same stuff here after two seasons of seeing it, I guess I’m just trying to support the team now and let what happens happen and see how many others can at least start looking at our performances more unbiasedly

  • Ucce

    I agree that he can’t pass. But I think Simeone plays him because he thinks he can defend well. Whether he is right I don’t know. I think the root problem for the team right now is a lack of winning mentality and being overly defensive. These problems started during the 2014/2015 season, with some ups and downs since then, but now it’s at its worst.

  • Gol

    Atleti should switch to the 3-4-3 formation.

    Correa-Gameiro-Griezmann
    Carrasco-Gabi-Koke-Gaitan
    Filipe-Godin-Juanfran
    Moya

  • Dircil

    I agree with you. You can say that I m not a progressive person but I don’t see any other manager can take over the Simeone’s legacy once he leaves the club. If we end up 4th this season, there is no need to panic since we can advance to the group stage at ease. In the worst scenario that we will end up somewhere outside of the top 4, then it’s time for Simeone to think about reformation. Right now just let the guy run the team as he deems best. We’re not manager and we only know about tactics as much as Americans know about their politics so we cant just say something like this player is better suited for that position than the other.

  • TommyNestor7

    Show at least a little respect for the man who is for me a first star of this site. He always gives a great comment on whatever the situation is good or bad… And Mista was one of our worst signing in like ever!!