La Liga: Atlético 0 – 0 Athletic

Horrendous refereeing decisions means Athletic leave with a point

Tiago has a goal ruled out for offside

Tiago has a goal ruled out for offside

Atlético Madrid have given hope to the chasing pack in the quest for Champions League football after some shocking refereeing decisions meant they could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to Athletic on Saturday.

The referee and his assistants disallowed three goals for the home side, two of which should have stood, on a frustrating May afternoon for Diego Simeone’s men.

It started brightly for Atleti. A lovely first touch and turn from Fernando Torres, starting instead of Mario Mandzukic, almost set up the first chance, but a cross into the box couldn’t pick any of his team mates out.

Athletic created chances though. San José was left completely unmarked following a corner but he could only head wide of Oblak’s post.

Iñaki Williams’ pace put him ahead of Diego Godín in the chase to get onto the end of a through ball, but the chance never really materialised and was snuffed out by the Atleti defence.

Atlético were getting themselves into good positions as the second half went on, but Juanfran and then Griezmann were both called offside.

Iturraspe had an opportunity to shoot from distance for the visitors but could only put it well wide of Jan Oblak’s goal.

Atleti threatened from a corner but Miranda’s header was challenged by a charging Iago. The ex-Atlético B goalkeeper then made another save to deny a header from Raúl García.

The Calderón then threatened to boil over as Etxeita put his hands all over Fernando Torres after a curling cross in from Koke. Torres went down but still managed to get a shot away, and it was deflected for a corner.

El Niño stood up to the referee and questioned his failure to award a penalty, and was booked for his aggressive protests.

Griezmann then had the ball in the back of the net after another Koke corner, but the Frenchman was ruled to be in an offside position before he came back to pick up the ball. This was the correct call.

Atleti just about shaded the first half, but it was a tight contest. The referee was undoubtedly the least popular man on the pitch.

Just five minutes into the second half, Antoine Griezmann had the ball in the back of the net again. However it was again ruled as offside.

There were three Atleti players behind the last defender, but Griezmann was being played onside and the goal should have stood.

Athletic then had the best chance of the second half thus far. San Jose charged at the Atleti defence, before playing a one-two with Iraola. The shot in was then deflected away from goal but it was a great chance for Bilbao. The visitors failed to get a shot on target all match.

Simeone decided to shake things up, bringing off Raúl García and Fernando Torres in favour of Arda Turan and Mario Mandzukic.

It was Athletic that had the next opportunity, with Etxeita getting up to meet a corner but he could only scoop it over the crossbar.

It was the birthday boy Tiago, instead of Griezmann, that next had a goal disallowed. This was a certain goal, and I still have no idea why it was ruled out.

An Arda Turan cross in was lifted over the goalkeeper by Tiago, but the assistant referee had his flag up again. Replays showed that Tiago was a country mile onside. The second wrongly disallowed goal of the night.

A chance fell to Miranda inside stoppage time, but the header down from Mandzukic was volleyed well over the bar from our Brazilian defender.

Bustinza, making his full Liga debut for Athletic tonight, was sent off for a second booking. After being brought to the floor by Saúl, he then punched the ball away to further waste some time.

The final Atleti chance was snuffed out by the assistant referee in the final seconds, who again flagged for offside against the home team. This summed up the afternoon for Atlético.

Final whistle, and the next match away against Levante is even more important for Diego Simeone’s men.

Atlético Madrid Athletic Club
Atlético Madrid 0 0 Athletic Club
Competition Liga BBVA
Location Vicente Calderón
Date 02 May 2015
Kick Off 18:00 CEST

Team Lineups

Atlético Madrid
Tiago (87')
Raúl García (56')
F Torres (56')
Substitutes used
Arda Turan (56')
Mandzukic (56')
Saúl (87')
Athletic Club
de Marcos
San José
Iturraspe (67')
Iraola (58')
Kike Sola (67')
Substitutes used
Lopez (58')
Guillermo (67')
Gurpegui (84')

Match Stats

On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
  • Ahmad Hossainy

    ” Atletico Madrid have mathematically lost their hopes of defending their title ”
    I didn’t read this phrase anywhere, not even from Atleti fans, and this just bothers me, it shows a lack of respect to our club,
    and a lack of self-esteem from Atleti fans
    Staying in the title race until week 35 with Madrid & Barca after losing 4 key players while they kept all theirs and added more is a worth-mentioning achievement, so is staying in the race for the 2nd place, which we still have a chance -at least on paper- to win it, even if Simeone himself kept repeating since before the season even started that his fight is with Valencia & Sevilla for the 3rd place

    Except Mateu Lahoz whom I consider “the least worst ref in Spain”, I only remember the names of the bad ones, or let me say : those who have hurt us repeatedly, since almost all of Spain’s referees are bad and all of them have hurt many teams,
    Borbalan, Clos Gomez, The Teixeira Brothers and now Jaime Latre and José Carrera -his clown of an assistant- have joined the list

    But let’s be honest with ourselves :
    We didn’t play a great game, despite the 2 legal disallowed goals and the very clear uncalled penalty,
    Athletic are a very weak team this season, and don’t look to their position, the 7th, but look at their numbers, 48 pts (9 pts less than Southampton, the 7th of EPL after the same number of games, in a much stronger league) they have only 13 wins, and the most significant figure is their goals, 34 .. in 35 games, less than a goal per game
    And yesterday they were even weaker without Aduriz, Muniain, Balenziaga & Ibai
    Barca and Madrid could’ve been denied 2 goals & a penalty vs Bilbao at home and would still have managed to win, maybe Valencia & Sevilla too, we lacked the solutions, Koke and Arda aren’t at their best this season, and when they can’t create chances and when the set-pieces don’t work -which is usually the case in most of our games in 2015- we got nothing else, just long useless balls, and we wait for a mistake from our opponent to score, like what happened in El Madrigal
    Simeone have a lot of work to do next summer, and he has to do it perfectly, in case we got a transfer ban later

    But ban or no ban, and despite all the praise from Simeone to Mandzukic, I don’t think that there is even a very little chance for the Croat to be with us next season, the fact that the-out-of-shape-for-four-years Torres is now our savior and our first choice striker -at least for the fans- says it all about Mandzukic
    He is a great finisher, and he would fit perfectly in teams where he finds a lot of “unfinished business”, a lot of play-making and chance-creating, a team like Man City who have Toure, Nasri, Silva, Navas, Zabaleta, or Arsenal with Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere & Walcott, just like he was perfect for Heynckes’ Bayern with Robben & Ribery & co.

    But since we can’t afford to buy 3 or 4 creative players, it’s easier to just let go of Mandzu and buy a striker who fits in our system, and again : we must choose perfectly this time in case we got sanctioned

    Let me finish this with what I have started with : mathematics
    We are 7 pts above Sevilla, so we need just 3 pts from the remaining 3 games to secure the 4th place, one win or 3 draws, that’s in case Sevilla won all their 3 games, which I highly doubt it with 2 difficult visits to Vigo & Malaga and 2 tough clashes with Fiorentina
    The more important is the 3rd place, but let’s wait for Valencia-Eibar and see

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Actually we only need 2 points to secure the 4th place
    And after Valencia win tonight, we need 6 points to secure the 3rd, or 4 points in case they drew with Madrid, or 3 points in case they lost
    And Valencia defeat vs Madrid is the most expected one, so, a win against Levante will finish the race for the 3rd place,
    the race that should never have existed

  • ktdbell5

    Your obsession with the EPL is very annoying. I really respect your opinion you have been watching soccer a lot longer than I have and no a lot more than I do. However, I just don’t get your La Liga bashing all of the time on a La Liga team website. La Liga has been doing so much more in Europe the last few years than the EPL it’s just fact. They are always full of excuses no winter break, etc. The results are the results though La Liga has a very good chance to win the Europa and Champions league back to back years but you never mention that always just how much more superior the EPL. I’m happy you are a Atletico fan but it seems like you should pick a EPL team.

  • ktdbell5

    If they played tomorrow or next year in Europe I’d take Athletic in that game and I think Athletic would be the favorites. I for one hope that Atletico sell Toby and he has been one of their best players. I would take Laporte over him.