La Liga: Athletic Club 1 – 2 Atlético
Atlético earn big win away at San Mamés
Atlético Madrid have taken another huge step to the La Liga title by winning at San Mamés on Saturday night.
Against Athletic Club the Colchoneros came from behind to win 1-2, courtesy of goals by Diego Costa and Koke.
After just six minutes the home side lead when Iker Muniain chased a long pass by Mikel San José. The quick winger beat both Juanfran and Thibaut Courtois to the ball and chipped it over the goalkeeper to give his team an early lead.
Atlético should have tied a couple of minutes later, but Diego Costa’s attempt in the 13th minute was too close to Gorka Iraizoz to beat the goalkeeper 1-on-1.
A similar situation a couple minutes later was more succesful for Diego Costa. After Koke intercepted a sloppy pass by Iturraspe, our Brazilian topscorer again confronted Iraizoz and this time came out victorious by slotting the ball past the goalie with his left foot.
After half an hour of play Atleti were close to taking the lead, but Raúl García missed a huge opportunity after receiving the ball from Filipe Luís. A moment later there was excitement at the other end as Markel Susaeta headed just inches wide after Thibaut Courtois missed his interception.
The second half saw more end to end stuff as the teams were equal in both passion and offensive intent. Just thirty seconds into the second Diego Costa again found himself in a great position to score, but he shot wide with his weaker left foot. The Brazilian was unstoppable for the Athletic defence and should have earned a penalty when he was brought down by Aimeric Laporte, but the atrocious José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes waived to play on. Then, as the pace of the game didn´t allow fans or players to take a breather, Oscar De Marcos just missed the goal after robbing the ball from Diego Godín.
In the 56th minute Atlético Madrid went ahead when Koke headed in the 2-1. The young midfielder was at the end of a well worked attack by Atleti and beat his defender to a cross by Filipe.
After scoring their second, Atleti approached the game more calmly and tried to control the tempo, while Bilbao increased the pressure as the game went on. Ten minutes before the end everyone at the San Mamés jumped out of their seats to celebrate a late equalizer, but Thibaut Courtois sat them back down. The Belgian ‘keeper pulled off one of the most amazing and most important saves of the year to maintain his team’s lead.
The match was decided a few moments later when Laporte received his second yellow card for a foul on Diego Costa, which helped Atleti through the final moments of the game. The Rojiblancos held on and maintain their one point lead over Barcelona in the La Liga table. With the win over Athletic, Atlético are now twenty points ahead of the number four and only a point shy of securing a top 3 finish and Champions League spot for next season.
|Muniain 6'||Diego Costa 22'|
|29 March 2014|
|De Marcos (78')|
|Mikel Rico (83')|
|Raúl García (82')|
|Diego Costa (91')|
|C. Rodríguez (82')|