LIVE: Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

LIVE: Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

Expect to see manager Simeone make either a change at half time or a few very early into the second half if his team don’t respond further. They grabbed a pretty undeserved equaliser late on in the first half, but the hosts have been poor overall and Bilbao have looked extremely comfortable so far. 

A rather drab first half comes to a close with the scores level in Madrid. Muniain slotted home from close range following some lovely build-up play from Williams early on but Llorente replied for the hosts with a header in the final minute of the first half. Regardless of that late goal, Atletico have not been at the races at all in the opening 45 minutes of play.

45′ + 3′ HALF-TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 0-1 ATHLETIC BILBAO.

Atlético Madrid

45′ + 2′ Lemar grabs the assist with a fantastic chipped cross into the path of the onrushing Llorente. 

Atlético Madrid

45′ + 2′ GOOOOOAAAALLLLLL!!! 1-1. LLORENTE!!!! Oh, how Atletico needed that! It’s a simple ball into Lemar who crosses back to an unmarked Llorente. The midfielder leaps highest and heads home from eight yards out courtesy of a very big deflection from a Bilbao defender. We’re all square.

45′ There’ll be just one minute of additional time played in this first half.

Atlético Madrid

43′ Felipe hacks through the back of Williams and he too will have his name taken by the referee. 

Athletic Club

41′ Another booking for the away side, this time it’s Vesga who’s cautioned after pulling back Joao Felix who was looking to break away. 

41′ Atletico are just beginning to crank up the heat on Bilbao as this match heads towards the break. The hosts have had a couple of corners, but both have gone short and have been a waste in truth. The visitors are looking comfortable at the back still, however.

Athletic Club

38′ De Marcos is the first name into the referee’s book after fouling Joao Felix on the halfway line. 

37′ Well apart from the early strike from Muniain nothing much else has really happened so far in this match. Atletico are holding more of the ball, but Bilbao seem happy to sit back and use the counter-attack to their advantage. Williams in particular looks dangerous on the break with his pace and trickery.

35′ Atletico finally have their first shot on target of the match as Carrasco strikes from distance. Simon in the Bilbao net gets down easily to stop the strike however.

33′ Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak has now conceded in each of his last five home matches in LaLiga (seven goals in total). That’s his worst ever run in the Spanish top-flight.

30′ The hosts are still yet to have a big chance in this LaLiga clash and haven’t mustered a shot at target in the opening half an hour of play. It all just seems a little disjointed in attack as Suarez hasn’t really seen much of the ball. Joao Felix has also struggled to get into the match so far as well. 

27′ Atletico Madrid have responded well to that early set back and since the Muniain opener the capital club have held nearly all of the possession.

24′ Atletico Madrid are winless in their last three home LaLiga games (D2 L1) and could suffer their longest run at home without a win in a single season since January 2006, under Carlos Bianchi (D4).

Athletic Club

21′ A fantastic bit of play from Williams who puts in on a plate for his midfielder. 

Athletic Club

21′ GOOOOAAAALLLLL!!! 1-0 TO BILBAO. MUNIAIN!!!! The visitors break the deadlock and it’s a lovely goal. The ball is worked out to the right wing towards Williams who then waits for some much-needed back-up and picks out Muniain who converts from 12 yards out into the bottom right-hand corner of the Atletico net.

19′ The visitors grab their first corner of the contest after great work down the left wing by Muniain. Berenguer delivers towards the back post but Hermoso rises highest to clear the danger.

17′ Felipe rattles the post with a header from close range for the home side, but the flag is up for offside in the build-up. That’s the nearest either side has come so far to breaking the deadlock in this LaLiga match-up.

16′ Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has conceded in each of his last four LaLiga home games (six goals on aggregate), his worst such run at home in the competition. That record will certainly give Bilbao some extra hope tonight.

14′ It’s just not clicking upfront for Bilbao so far in this match. Williams is the latest to gift possession back to the home side as he steps over a pass from De Marcos. They’ll need to work harder if they’re to grab a positive result from this fixture. 

12′ Lemar is the latest Atletico player to shoot from distance but his effort is blocked by Nunez. The home side are really beginning to up the pressure now on their opposition.

10′ Hermoso advances up the field for the hosts and has an effort from distance but it’s blocked by a Bilbao defender. 

8′ With victory in this LaLiga clash, Diego Simeone could become the Atletico Madrid manager with the most wins (309) in all competitions (G513 W308), surpassing Luis Aragones (G612 W308).

6′ The first corner of the night goes to the home side as Lemar sees a cross blocked behind by De Marcos. Atletico work it short, but the whistle goes for a foul on Simon in the Bilbao goal soon after.

5′ No attempts on either goal to speak of just yet but Atletico have begun to find their feet in this clash over the past few minutes. The hosts will need Koke and Llorente to put in a big shift tonight in the centre of the park if they are to grind out another home victory.

3′ It looks like it will be a 3-4-2-1 shape for the hosts this evening with Joao Felix and Lemar both playing just behind the lone strike Suarez. Bilbao have controlled much of the early possession so far as they look to upset the LaLiga table toppers.

1′ The referee blows his whistle and we’re underway here in the Spanish capital!

The players are emerging from the tunnel and kick-off is just moments away.

Atletico Madrid have avoided defeat in their nine home LaLiga matches against Athletic under coach Diego Simeone (W8 D1), keeping a clean sheet on five occasions.

The visitors are without the experienced Inigo Martinez at the back as he serves a suspension but elsewhere on the pitch, there’s no new injury concerns. As a result, De Marcos, Nunez, Alvarez and Yuri form the backline with Berenguer, Vesga, Lopez and Muniain all starting across the midfield. Williams and Garcia start upfront for the visitors who are looking to extend their recent good run of form in the Spanish top-flight.

After opting with a four at the back system against rivals Real Madrid last weekend, Atletico revert to a more familiar three at the back formation for this LaLiga clash. Savic, Hermoso and Felipe start in central defence whilst Trippier and Carrasco operate as the wing-backs. Llorente, Koke and Lemar all start in central midfield as Suarez and Felix lead the line for the home side. 

ATHLETIC BILBAO SUBS: Jokin Ezkieta, Mikel Balenziaga, Ander Capa, Inigo Lekue, Dani Garcia, Ibai Gomez, Jon Morcillo, Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor, Oier Zarraga, Inigo Vicente, Asier Villalibre.

ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-4-2): Unai Simon; Oscar De Marcos, Unai Nunez, Yeray Alvarez, Yuri; Alex Berenguer, Unai Lopez, Mikel Vesga, Iker Muniain; Raul Garcia, Inaki Williams.

ATLETICO MADRID SUBS: Ivo Grbic, Renan Lodi, Sime Vrsaljko, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Vitolo, Lucas Torreira, Saul Niguez, Angel Correa, Moussa Dembele.

ATLETICO MADRID (3-5-2): Jan Oblak; Mario Hermoso, Stefan Savic, Felipe; Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente, Koke, Thomas Lemar, Yannick Carrasco; Joao Felix, Luis Suarez.

Atletico Madrid welcome Bilbao to the Spanish capital as they look to go six points clear at the top of the LaLiga standings with another victory. With the host’s form beginning to jitter slightly in recent weeks, a win tonight in their game in hand could put Diego Simeone’s men back on track as they hunt down their first LaLiga title since the 2013-14 season. The visitors however need a vital win to keep up their faint pursuit of Europa League qualification this campaign.

Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of this LaLiga fixture between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

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