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Played
March 21, 2012 7:00 p.m. GMT
Estadio Vicente Calderón — Madrid
Referee:‬ Javier Estrada‎
Attendance:‬ 30000‎
 
Top of the Match
Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao
Atletico Madrid
Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao
Atletico Madrid
Flop of the Match
Mikel San José Domínguez
Mikel San José Domínguez
Athletic de Bilbao
Toquero
Toquero
Athletic de Bilbao

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Athletic Bilbao: Superb double from Falcao fires Diego Simeone's side back into Champions League contention

Another match-winning pair from the Colombian striker now sees the capital side rise to seventh in La Liga, just two points from the promised land of a top four place

By Livio Caferoglu

Radamel Falcao - Atletico Madrid
Radamel Falcao - Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid bounced back from their disappointing loss to Mallorca at the weekend, consigning Athletic Bilbao to a 2-1 defeat at the Vicente Calderon in La Liga on Wednesday.

A double from Radamel Falcao was enough to hand Los Colchoneros all three points on the night and reignite their hopes of Champions League football next season, despite a late Javi Martinez reply, and inflict a second successive defeat on Marcelo Bielsa's men.

The first half was a scrappy state of affairs, as neither side struggled to gain a foothold on the match. Nevertheless, it was the hosts who showed more endeavour in the early stages, spearheaded by the dangerous Arda Turan on the left wing.

After a string of forgettable snapshots, the Turk was responsible for the half's one and only goalscoring opportunity, his backheel to find Falcao in the box, but the hitman could only manage to fire the ball just wide of the target.

The contest then exploded into life after the break, once more in the favour of Diego Simeone's  men, who deservedly grabbed the opening goal, albeit helped by a piece of unconvincing defending from the Basques.

The exciting Arda featured in the build-up, drilling a cross for team-mate Adrian to finish off, but despite Gorka Iraizoz's best efforts to keep the ball out, Falcao beat Mikel San Jose to the rebound to convert.

Iraizoz was again forced into action shortly after, producing a fabulous double save. Adrian surged into his opponents' box, leaving the Bilbao defence for dead, but the Basque goalkeeper did superbly well to stop the ball, and the instant follow-up from Falcao.

But his luck did not last for long, as Atleti netted a second to secure the victory. Juanfran escaped down the left flank, and the winger expertly whipped a low cross onto the head of Falcao, increasing his tally for the match in the process.

Suddenly, the visitors were presented with an impressive chance of their own, as David Lopez's cut-back on the touchline near Thibaut Courtois' goal met Markel Susaeta, but Luis Perea somehow hacked his attempt off the line.

Bilbao managed to pull one back deep in injury time, in quite spectacular fashion through Javi Martinez, who volleyed in a low cross from close range.

But it was not enough to stop Bilbao from suffering consecutive La Liga defeats, while Atleti's hopes of finishing in the top four have been suitably buoyed.


Atletico Madrid

13
Thibaut Courtois
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Diego Godín
Defender
3.00
3
Filipe Luis
Defender
3.00
20
Juanfran
Defender
64′ 72′
3.50
23
Miranda
Defender
66′
3.00
10
Arda Turan
Midfielder
78′
3.50
14
Gabi
Midfielder
38′
3.00
6
Koke
Midfielder
72′
3.00
4
Mario Suárez
Midfielder
82′
2.50
7
Adrián
Striker
50′ 86′
3.00
9
4.00

Athletic de Bilbao

3.00
1
Iraizoz
Goalkeeper
2.50
15
Aurtenetxe
Defender
2.50
35
Amorebieta
Defender
2.50
8
Iturraspe
Midfielder
71′
2.50
14
Susaeta
Midfielder
2.50
3
Íñigo Pérez
Midfielder
54′
2.50
21
Ander Herrera
Midfielder
40′ 46′
3.50
8
Javi Martínez
Midfielder
70′ 92′
2.50
2
Toquero
Striker
3.00
10
3.00
19
Muniain
Striker

Substitutes

25
Sergio Asenjo
Goalkeeper
0.00
15
0.00
14
L. Perea
Defender
78′
3.50
18
3.50
12
0.00
-
Fran Mérida
Midfielder
0.00
9
Pizzi
Striker
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
13
0.00
25
Koikili
Defender
0.00
23
Borja Ekiza
Defender
3.00
-
David López
Midfielder
71′
0.00
11
Igor Gabilondo
Midfielder
2.50
11

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

 - 
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  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
26 4
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0