Athletic Club Secure Impressive Victory Over Atlético Madrid

Athletic Club continued their impressive LaLiga record at San Mamés, defeating third-placed Atlético Madrid 2-0 to secure a 20th point from the last 24 on offer at home.

Looking for a third win from four home H2H meetings, Athletic kicked off proceedings as the league’s most prolific scorers, netting 22 goals in seven matches. In their way stood an Atleti side buoyed by their midweek victory over S.S. Lazio that saw them top their UEFA Champions League (UCL) group, securing them a spot in the last 16.

The hosts started strongly as Gorka Guruzeta tested Jan Oblak early on before LaLiga top scorer Iñaki Williams rattled the left post. Athletic were firmly in the ascendancy and should have taken the lead from the spot after Çağlar Söyüncü’s indiscretion, but Oihan Sancet made a mess of the penalty, skying high over Oblak’s bar.

Home fans may have been disappointed not to be ahead based on their first-half exploits, but shortly after the restart, any grievances were put to one side as Athletic took the lead. Following a corner kick, the ball broke to Ander Herrera, who delivered a searching ball for an unmarked Guruzeta to sweep home at the back post.

Needing a goal, Diego Simeone made the brave decision to take off Antoine Griezmann – who had twice scored the winner in last season’s H2H league meetings – a choice that was brought into further doubt when Athletic extended their lead five minutes later. With little on, Nico Williams found a pocket of space in the area and curled an exceptional strike into the top-left corner, giving his side a deserved two-goal cushion.

The hosts remained in control thereafter, keeping Atleti at bay to earn three important points in their pursuit of UCL football, with the gap to their beaten opponents being cut to just two points.

The Madrid side have now visited six sides placed 11th or higher at the start of the matchday, picking up just one victory (D1, L4).

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