La Liga: Athletic 0 – 1 Atlético

Atlético battle for all three points in a must-win game in the Basque Country

Fernando Torres celebrates the only goal against Athletic on Wednesday

Fernando Torres celebrates the only goal against Athletic on Wednesday

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 Atlético Madrid
Athletic Club 0 1 Atlético Madrid
 Fernando Torres  38'
Competition Liga BBVA
Location San Mamés
Date 20 April 2016
Kick Off 20:45 CEST
  • Karlp

    Always tight and scrappy games against Bilbao, despite that I think the team plays well.
    Although we mostly defend, we were always in control of the game.

    MOTM Augusto, slowly becoming one of my favorite Atleti man.
    Very good play also from Lucas, Savic, and Filipe.
    I always know that Savic is really good, so my expectation is always high for him, but Lucas really exceeds my expectation in this game.
    Have to give a shout-out for Torres also, 1 clear chance and 1 goal. Very efficient and very happy for him.

    On another note, in a game where we defend deep like this, I hope we have 1 player that dribbles really good like Isco so we can build-up a counter attack better. Carrasco although have a good pace, don’t have a good control on the ball yet. I know player like Isco doesn’t come cheap.

    Also, I think Tomas has a real potential. However in some games I think he is not ready enough for this level of play. Maybe another loan for him will be good. He is also the kind of player that needs a bit of space, like Yaya Toure.