La Liga: Atlético 0 – 0 Athletic
Horrendous refereeing decisions means Athletic leave with a point
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||0 0||Athletic Club|
|02 May 2015|
|Raúl García (56')|
|F Torres (56')|
|Arda Turan (56')|
|Kike Sola (67')|