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Deportivo La Coruña
2 May 2015
• Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
Referee: Santiago Jaime Latre
• Attendance: 53500
I am Alex Moretto and I would like to thank you all for joining me here today. Good bye!
FULL TIME: ATLETICO 0-0 ATHLETIC. Tiago had a good goal disallowed as Diego Simeone's side are forced to settle for a draw at the Vicente Calderon. The hosts manaed a late push but couldn't find a breakthrough as they present Valencia and Sevilla with a chance to close the gap on third place.
90' + 3'
Yellow/Red Unai Bustinza
90' + 3'
IT'S ALL OVER!
90' + 1'
Indeed there is three minutes, and one of them is behind us. Atletico win a free kick inside their own half and Gabi plays a ball forward all the way into the area. Mandzukic does well to head it down into the path of Miranda, but the centre-half volleys it over the bar!
There's unlikely to be much time added on to the end here, and neither side is showing much intent to push for a winner. The rumblings are that there will be three minutes of stoppage time, but that is yet to be confirmed.
The hosts are presented with a good opportunity as Saul wins a free kick to the left of the area, just seconds after coming on. The original cross in is dealt with, but the pressure remains on and the ball is lifted back in, only for Godin to head over the bar!
Yellow Card Diego Godín
STAT ATTACK: Atletico Madrid have unbeaten in their last 11 league matches (W7, D4). They have kept eight clean sheets over that span.
Athletic are playing for the draw now, and I can't quite figure out why. It would be a good result, but given their current circumstances, it does very little for them. They have to take a chance and start committing men forward, because there's very little to lose.
Yellow Card Aymeric Laporte
SO CLOSE! San Jose continues to cover a ton of ground, making his presence felt at both ends. He streaks into the area ia the right channel, and drills a cross into the centre, but Kike Sola somehow fails to get a touch! Back the other way come Atletico and Laporte is issued a yellow card for a challenge on Mandzukic.
Approaching the final 10 minutes now, and it looks like Griezmann is the only one capable, or eager, to provide a breakthrough. The home supporters are still upset with the referee and his linesman, and they have every right to be.
THEY CAN'T BUY A GOAL! Griezmann is reaking havoc now on the Athletic defence, but Iago appears to have his number. A great injection of pace allows him to break into the area, but he can't get a shot off under pressure from the keeper.
Yellow Card Unai Bustinza
STAT ATTACK: Atletico Madrid have scored eight goals in their last three meetings with Athletic Bilbao (all victories), seven of which were scored in the second half of those matches.
FANTASTIC SAVE! Siqueira strolls down the left and his cross into the area falls kindly for Griezmann at the far post, but his shot is somehow turned aside by Iago! Spectacular goalkeeping to keep this one scoreless!
Yellow Card San José
Mikel San Jose is issued a yellow card for a nasty challenge into the back of Griezmann. The physical midfielder will be walking a tightrope the rest of the way here as he tries to avoid a sending off.
INCREDIBLE! Atletico have had a third goal called back for offside and this one was undoubtedly the wrong decision by the assistant referee! Turan plays a lovely cross into the centre that Tiago manages to flick home, but the flag goes up! Shocking decision, that.
Athletic make their second change, with coach Ernesto Valverde sensing this game getting away from his team. The hosts have stepped up their pursuit of the opener and Los Leones have spent the majority of the last 10 minutes on their heals.
A draw doesn't serve Athletic well in this game. Trailing Villarreal by six points for the final Europa League place, a victory is a must for them today. They are inviting a bit of pressure now and you just get the sense that they are trying to lull Atletico in and hit them on the counter.
Atletico are starting to apply some good pressure, with the introduction of Turan and Madzukic proving beneficial. Godin goes down in the area as he attacks a cross, following a push in the back from Iturraspe, but the referee does well to wave away claims for a penalty.
STAT ATTACK: Athletic have taken just one point from their away matches against teams currently above them in the La Liga table (D1, L5). They conceded 12 goals in those games without reply.
The injuries and substitutions have again seen the pace fizzle out of the match. Atletico are back controlling possession, but are largely being contained in midfield. The hosts are really struggling to find a breakthrough.
That's the final contribution from Iraola, who has gone down injured and is in need of a substitution. Unai Lopez comes on to replace him, just a minute after the introduction of Arda Turan and Mario Mandzukic for the hosts, at the expense of Garcia and Torres.
BRILLIANT SAVE! Iraola is played through along the right and shows great vision to pick out San Jose with a cutback, but the midfielder's shot is kept out by a sprawling Oblak! Tremendous stuff from the keeper.
OFFSIDE! Well hasn't this been a common theme throughout for Atletico! Griezmann latches onto the end of a through ball and drills is into the bottom corner, but a late flag goes up and it won't count! The crowd is livid with the referee's decision, and it was incredibly close upon first glance.
STAT ATTACK: Antoine Griezmann has scored a remarkable eight goals in his last six league matches for Atletico Madrid. He saw a five game scoring streak snapped in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory at Villarreal. The Frenchman has six goals against Athletic since joining the Rojiblancos, more than he has against any other La Liga club (tied with Real Valladolid).
LOVELY RUN! Raul Garcia makes a penetrating run, sliding a ball through into the area as he approaches the last line of defence. The pass is just a fraction too far for Gabi, however, allowing Iago to collect.
Atletico start the second half on the front foot, but it's much of the same for them, with creativity sorely lacking. Motivation seems to be a bit of an issue, with third place close to wrapped up and nowhere to move from there in the league.
Here we go again!
HALF TIME: ATLETICO 0-0 ATHLETIC. Nothing to separate the two teams as we head into the break, with chances few and far between after 45 minutes. The hosts managed a good late push, but to no avail, as the visitors stand firm to preserve the draw and give themselves a chance at all three points heading into the second half.
There will be one minute of stoppage time.
NO GOAL! Chaos in the penalty area following an Atletico corner, and somehow, somewhere, the ball is bundled across the line amidst the mess of bodies. The goal is immediately waived off, however, as an offside and a foul are given by the referee and his assistant, respectively. This isn't met by nearly as much scrutiny from the Atletico players.
Yellow Card Fernando Torres
TORRES HAS TO BE CAREFUL HERE! Tempers are boiling over as the striker shouts at the referee, looking for a penalty. He claims he was dragged down by Etxeita at the far post, but he had his arms all over the defender. It's a good non-call by the referee, who shows Torres a yellow for his protests.
What is Laporte doing? The French centre-half tries to dribble the ball near his own byline and plays it behind for a corner. Raul Garcia meets it and gets a good effort on target, but it's hit straight at Iago who makes a comfortable save.
We are still awaiting the opener at the Vicente Calderon, and it doesn't appear imminent. Neither side has been able to do much of anything in possession, with the few chances all coming as a result of defensive miscues. It's all incredibly sloppy in this first half as it appears more and more likely that we will head into the break scoreless.
NOTHING GIVEN! San Jose plays with fire at the back, and nearly gets burned. He fails to control a pass and Torres pounces on the loose ball before going down in a heap following a last-ditch challenge from the midfielder. He was the last defender on the play, but the referee say it was a clean foul, much to the dismay of the former Liverpool striker.
OFFSIDE AGAIN! Griezmann is starting to spring to life, leading the lines for Atletico. He strides to get on the end of a long ball forward, his pace proving no match for Etxeita, but the flag goes up very late to indicate an offside.
STAT ATTACK: Antoine Griezmann’s 18 goals scored on Saturday’s in the league are more than any other player in the Premiera Division (Opta Facts).
CHASED DOWN BY GRIEZMANN! De Marcos plays a long pass back to his keeper, but doesn't get much on it. The Frenchman gives chase and the crowd buzzes in anticipation, however, Iago does very well to rush off his line and boot the ball to safety just ahead of the striker.
Atletico need to do a better job of getting the ball up to their strike duo of Griezmann and Torres. They have seen far too little of the ball, largely due to the fine work of the visitors in midfield. The hosts have lacked a certain inventiveness in this first half, making life way too easy on the Athletic back four.
Chances for both teams in the last few minutes have proved promising, but they haven't been generated by much creativity in midfield. The match is very sloppy, especially in midfield, and some unconvincing work in defence has gifted either side scoring chances.
OPPORTUNITY WASTED! Inaki Williams is played through on goal, but a poor first touch forces him to drift outside. He manages to keep the chance on, sending a pass into the area for Mikel Rico, but Tiago reads it well to intercept. Great defensive cover there from the Atletico midfielder.
OFF THE WOODWORK! A ball over the top for Griezmann is headed clear by Etxeita, but not completely away from danger. De Marcos is caught ball watching, allowing Raul Garcia to come in and volley a shot towards the near post, but it strikes the outside frame of the goal and goes safely behind.
STAT ATTACK: Athletico Madrid have won five consecutive matches over Athletic across all competitions. They outscores Los Leones 11-3 over this current run of dominance.
GOOD ATTEMPT! Starting in place of Adruiz, Kike Sola takes a pass and strides forward into attack. He finds a pocket of space and unleashes a shot at goal, but it sails just over the bar! With that kind of ability, Atletico can't afford him that much space to shoot.
OFFSIDE! Frantic moments at the back for the visitors as a bit of pinball atop the area prevents them from playing it to safety. Tiago gets on the end of it and plays a ball over the top for Griezmann, but his effort sails just inches over the bar. It wouldn't have counted anyhow, as the flag goes up for offside.
Good defending! Atletico switch their focus to the left and Koke provides an excellent ball into the area for Griezmann, but Xabier Etxeita puts in a strong challenge to usher the ball behind for a corner. Much more encouraging, that, from the hosts.
Athletic are looking quite confident in defence. Mikel San Jose and Ander Iturraspe are pressing well in midfield, making for some uncomfortable moments for these Atletico Madrid players in possession. The hosts seem adamant on building down the right, but it's not happening for them at the moment.
The pace has slowed after a hectic first five minutes. Atletico are trying to keep possession and dictate the tempo, and are having success in doing so at the moment. They are, however, struggling a bit to find a way through into attack.
STAT ATTACK: Atletico Madrid have kept eight clean sheets in their last 11 matches across all competitions (W7, D3, L1). They conceded just four goals over that span.
The visitors have settled in nicely, weathering the early storm and are now on the front foot themselves. Williams does well to shift his way into the area and win an early corner, which Iraola delivers in, but San Jose can't direct his free header on target! Great chance there for them to snatch the opener.
Atletico Madrid, sporting their red and white striped home kits, enjoy a positive start to the match. Athletic, in their green tops and black shorts, manage to fend off the early threat, however, as the match takes no time shifting into high gear.
Off we go!
Athletic have made a staggering seven changes to their team, including dropping Adruiz. The striker has faced Atletico Madrid nine times in an Athletic shirt without scoring a single goal. Kike Sola comes on to replace him.
The hosts have made three changes to their team, following a vital 1-0 away win at Villarreal on Wednesday. Fernando Torres is rewarded with a start for his winning goal, replacing Mario Mandzukic. Raul Garcia also comes back into the team, along with Guillherme Siqueira, replacing Arda Turan and Jesus Gamez.
ATHLETIC BILBAO SUBS: Iraizoz, Toquero, Aurtenetxe, Gurpegi, Viguera, Fernandez, Lopez.
ATLETICO MADRID SUBS: Moya, Suarez, Mandzukic, Saul, Gamez, Gimenez, Turan.
ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-2-3-1): Iago; De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Bustinza; San Jose, Iturraspe; Iraola, Mikel Rico, Inaki Williams; Kike Sola.
ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2): Oblak; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Garcia, Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Torres, Griezmann.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Athletic Bilbao have their work cut out for them over the final month of the season, and the odds are not stacked in their favour. Los Leones trail sixth-placed Villarreal by six points, making a spot in European competition next season something of a longshot. Dropped points in any capacity this afternoon would essentially remove all hope at a Europa League berth, so their urgency should be on display straight from the start, only adding to the excitement surrounding this highly anticipated clash.
Atletico Madrid and their fans know just what to expect from the remainder of their season. With two victories from their last four games they will clinch third place and the automatic berth in next season’s Champions League that goes with it. Their heartbreaking loss to rivals Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of Europe’s most prestigious competition was certainly a tough pill to swallow, and a rocky stretch in the league between late February and early March saw their title hope come crashing down, but they can hold their heads high through the final month of the season with a finish just behind Spain’s two goliaths.
Good day La Liga fans and welcome to the capital! The Vicente Calderon is our venue today as Atletico Madrid try and take another big step towards securing their spot in the top three against an Athletic Bilbao side running out of time with their pursuit of sixth place. I am Alex Moretto and I will be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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