Article

Athletic Bilbao 1 Atletico Madrid 2: Correa and Carrasco strike in second-half surge

20 September 2017 21:55

Atletico Madrid continued their unbeaten start to LaLiga with an impressive 2-1 away win over Athletic Bilbao, who were left to rue Aritz Aduriz's missed penalty with the game goalless.

Two second-half goals sealed victory for Diego Simeone's side, Angel Correa's third of the season being followed up by a strike from substitute Yannick Carrasco.

Atletico deserved it for their strong display after the break, but they were also indebted to goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who impressively saved Aduriz's spot-kick in the first half.

After a good first-half display, Athletic offered little after the break until former Atletico man Raul Garcia struck deep in stoppage time, an effort which came too late to affect the outcome.

Simeone's men have now gone nine games without defeat against Athletic and this defeat is only the hosts' second in 21 league matches at San Mames.

Atletico move back to within four points of leaders Barcelona, while Athletic are four behind them and have now lost two straight games, following their loss to Las Palmas last time out.

A quiet opening half-hour saw Raul Garcia send an 18-yard volley at Oblak as the hosts made a slightly stronger start, while Antoine Griezmann had a deflected free-kick saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga at the other end.

The match then burst into life, with Nicolas Gaitan initiating a dramatic spell before half-time by capitalising on a defensive mistake by Unai Nunez and firing in a left-footed shot that Arrizabalaga tipped on to the post.

Griezmann threatened next when Koke's throughball allowed him to force the home goalkeeper to save with his legs.

Athletic responded by winning a controversial penalty, as Filipe Luis stretched to win back possession and was adjudged to have fouled Raul Garcia, the foul being committed right on the edge of the area.

But Aduriz's effort from 12 yards was superbly saved by Oblak, who stretched to his right to deny him.

Atletico then thought they had taken the lead when Griezmann's overhead kick found the net, only for Diego Godin to be penalised for fouling Mikel San Jose as he headed into the France forward's path, shortly before Filipe Luis then tested Arrizabalaga.

Griezmann's 25-yard strike early in the second half was held by the impressive Arrizabalaga, but the Athletic keeper was finally beaten on 55 minutes.

A slick Atletico move saw Griezmann slip through a pass to Koke, who in turn played a square ball to Correa, with the striker tapping in from six yards.

Griezmann had his second goal of the match ruled out, this time for offside after touching in Carrasco's shot, before being involved in his side's next chance.

The visitors came close to doubling their lead when the 26-year-old promptly got up after having an ambitious penalty claim turned down and fired in a strike that was well saved by Arrizabalaga after Filipe Luis' pass.

Athletic did not threaten in the second half until Raul Garcia volleyed over an excellent opportunity from eight yards after the away defence had failed to head clear a right-wing cross.

And that proved costly when Atletico sealed victory with 17 minutes remaining, Griezmann's lovely lofted pass impressively finished by Carrasco, who took one touch and fired into the far corner.

Filipe Luis limped off injured in the closing stages, one of the only sour notes of a morale-boosting triumph for Atletico, the other being Raul Garcia's goal in the second minute of stoppage-time from Mikel Balenziaga's cross.

Key Opta stats:
- Atletico Madrid have won five away games at the new San Mames, more than any other team (all competitions).
- Angel Correa has scored four goals in his last six LaLiga games - three coming this season - one more than he had in his previous 32 in the competition (three).
- Atletico are unbeaten in 15 league games on the road (W8 D7) their best ever run in LaLiga.
- Jan Oblak has saved six of the 10 penalties he has faced in all competitions for Atletico (excluding penalty shootouts).

- Yannick Carrasco has scored 12 goals in LaLiga since the start of last season, more than any other midfielder.Athletic´s player Aritz Aduriz has played more games against Atletico de Madrid without scoring than against other side in La Liga (12 games).

 

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