La Liga: Athletic 0 – 1 Atlético
Atlético battle for all three points in a must-win game in the Basque Country
Atlético Madrid kept up the pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga on Wednesday evening after a hard-fought 1-0 away win over Athletic Club at San Mamés.
Atleti knew that three points were absolutely vital, as Barcelona were already 2-0 up against Deportivo by the time the match kicked-off in Bilbao.
Fernando Torres, with his fifth goal in five games, was the difference between the two sides on the night. His goal puts him into double digits for the season.
A perfect cross from Griezmann on the right-hand side was right into the path of Atleti’s number nine, and the Athletic goalkeeper could only watch as the 32-year-old guided a bullet header past him.
The goal did a lot to ease the nerves of Atleti fans, who had already had some cause for concern after Diego Godín limped off after just eleven minutes.
It’s reported as a hamstring injury, but Godín stayed on the bench for the remainder of the game rather than receive treatment, so it’s hopeful that it is precautionary.
It was almost 2-0 a few minutes later. Thomas Partey almost had his name on the scoresheet after Iraizoz was down on the floor. The Athletic goalkeeper collided with his own player. Thomas could only hit the post with his attempt, though this did not stop the home side from protesting against the young Ghanaian.
Los Colchoneros were pressured by the Basques from start to finish, none more so than in the 50th minute, when some intricate play set up Beñat with a shot from outside of the area.
The stinging strike swerved viciously in the air, but Jan Oblak did well to follow the flight of the ball and keep Atlético ahead.
Atlético squandered chances to make it 2-0. Carrasco, coming on in place of the starting Thomas Partey, sent a big opportunity over the bar after a great piece of play from Fernando Torres.
In the end Atleti were able to ride it out and grab yet another win at the new San Mamés, keeping the chase up with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
A potential banana skin for Barca ended in an 8-0 away win against Deportivo, but both teams need to do it all again at the weekend with only four games left.
|Athletic Club||0 1||Atlético Madrid|
|Fernando Torres 38'|
|20 April 2016|