- Match Analysis
Atletico Madrid 2 – Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle the cagey clash.
Kevin Gameiro came off the bench to score and create Atletico Madrid’s goals as Diego Simeone’s men maintained the pressure on LaLiga leaders Barcelona with a battling 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Barca won at Eibar on Saturday to build their cushion back up to 10 points after Atletico had reduced the deficit thanks to successive draws from the Catalan giants. An out-of-form Athletic side had frustrated the hosts for large periods at the Wanda Metropolitano and seemingly looked set to hold Atletico to a goalless draw.
It was down to Gameiro to earn Atletico their fifth straight win in all competitions, the forward drilling a shot into the bottom corner after being set up by fellow Frenchman Antoine Griezmann. Gameiro then set up Diego Costa to mark his latest return from injury with a goal, wrapping up the points with 11 minutes to go, beating Kepa Arrizabalaga at the goalkeeper’s near post.
Athletic are now winless in six games and, after they failed to create a clear chance in the game, Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak recorded his 16th LaLiga clean sheet of the season, putting him top of the charts for Europe’s top-five leagues.
Atleti blew Copenhagen away 4-1 in the Europa League on Thursday but struggled to break down Bilbao in the first half. Simeone turned to Gameiro to provide more spark and the striker scored within eight minutes of his introduction and he later slipped Costa through on goal to wrongfoot Kepa and ensure Atletico keep La Liga’s title race very much alive.