Atlético Madrid looked to be in a bit of trouble for a good chunk of Saturday, but they've gotten through Round 32 of the La Liga season with a victory and the top spot in La Liga all to themselves. They're in control of their own destiny after pulling out an impressive 2-1 victory away against Athletic Bilbao.
The visitors actually got off to an extremely rough start at San Mames, getting taken apart on the counter by Iker Muniain. Athletic's wonderkid showed off his combination of pace and skill in the 6th minute, running onto a long ball by Aritz Aduriz and chipping Thibaut Courtois from a narrow angle with his first touch, firing Los Leones in front.
But their lead didn't last long, with Atleti hitting back just 16 minutes later. Diego Costa was the scorer, hitting a composed finish to the far post from 12 yards, but the pass from Koke might have been even better than the shot that finished off the move.
Costa would remain dangerous heading into the second half, but couldn't find a winner, though he was robbed of a penalty in the 50th minute. Not long after missing a golden chance, he cut into the Athletic penalty area with the ball again, and this time was hauled down by Aymeric Laporte. It was a stonewall penalty, but the referee saw nothing.
Fortunately for Atleti, they didn't have to wait long for their goal, with Koke cementing his man of the match performance with both the setup and the finish. He found Filipe Luis with a ball out to the left flank, then continued his run into the center of the box. The ensuing cross from Luis took a deflection, but Koke was able to adjust and nodded into the back of the net.
Atleti were under pressure multiple times after that, but had it relieved in the 85th minute when a bit of justice was served. Laporte got away with what should have been a penalty, but he didn't get away with his other yellow card offenses, and he was sent off for a bad tackle on Costa five minutes from regular time. With a man advantage, Atleti had no problem holding on for victory.
Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz, Balenziaga, Laporte (red card 85'), San Jose, Iraola, Iturraspe, Rico (Beñat 82'), Muniain, De Marcos (Toquero 78'), Susaeta (Guillermo 72'), Aduriz
Goals: Muniain (6')
Atletico Madrid: Courtois, Felipe, Godin, Miranda, Juanfran, Suarez, Gabi, Koke, Garcia (Rodriguez 82'), Sosa (Turan 57'), Costa (Villa 90')
Goals: Costa (22'), Koke (55')