Atletico grind out victory to increase La Liga lead

Simeone's 2-1 home win over Bilbao helped move six points clear of Barcelona and eight ahead of Real Madrid

REUTERS March 11, 2021


La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid came from behind to pull off a crucial 2-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday and move six points clear of Barcelona and eight ahead of Real Madrid.

In-form Athletic went ahead in the 21st minute with a scuffed effort from Iker Muniain which flew into the net to deceive keeper Jan Oblak.

Atletico suffered a lot in the first half but pulled level with a deflected header from Marcos Llorente which enraged the visitors as the goal came in the second minute of added time when only one minute was supposed to be played.

The hosts kicked on after the interval and top scorer Luis Suarez drew a foul from Unai Nunez to win a penalty and dusted himself down to confidently dispatch his spot-kick and claim an 18th league goal this season.

Suarez was then left frustrated as he was taken off in a series of defensive substitutions from coach Diego Simeone, who also removed record signing Joao Felix and winger Thomas Lemar in favour of midfielders Lucas Torreira and Saul Niguez before introducing Geoffrey Kondogbia to further grind out the win.

Athletic defender Nunez could have snatched an equaliser in added time but headed straight into the arms of Oblak and Atletico saw out the victory to move on to 62 points from 26 games.


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