2020-2021 LaLiga
  • Marcos Llorente (45'+2')
  • Luis Suárez (51' PEN)
  • Iker Muniain (21')

Atletico grind out victory to increase La Liga lead

Atletico Madrid show why they're leading La Liga (0:57)

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno recaps their 2-1 win vs. Athletic Bilbao. (0:57)

La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid came from behind to pull off a crucial 2-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday and move six points clear of Barcelona and eight ahead of Real Madrid.

In-form Athletic went ahead in the 21st minute with a scuffed effort from Iker Muniain, which flew into the net to deceive keeper Jan Oblak.

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Atletico suffered a lot in the first half but pulled level with a deflected header from Marcos Llorente which enraged the visitors as the goal came in the second minute of added time when only one minute was supposed to be played.

The hosts kicked on after the interval and top scorer Luis Suarez drew a foul from Unai Nunez to win a penalty and dusted himself down to confidently dispatch his spot-kick and claim an 18th league goal this season.

Suarez was then left frustrated as he was taken off in a series of defensive substitutions from coach Diego Simeone, who also removed record signing Joao Felix and winger Thomas Lemar in favour of midfielders Lucas Torreira and Saul Niguez before introducing Geoffrey Kondogbia to further grind out the win.

Athletic defender Nunez could have snatched an equaliser in added time but headed straight into the arms of Oblak and Atletico saw out the victory to move on to 62 points from 26 games.

"We really struggled in the first half, they were all over us and we kept getting pushed back but our first goal gave us strength," Llorente said.

Atletico had conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 in Sunday's derby with Real Madrid, but knew they had another chance to gain ground on both main rivals in this game in hand.

"We see every game as special but we were really looking forward to this one, it was very important for our confidence," said Llorente, who also defended his side's conservative tactics.

"The key thing is to adapt to every type of pressure. There are moments when you cannot be pressing high up the pitch."

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Atletico Madrid 34 +39 76
2 Real Madrid 34 +34 74
3 Barcelona 34 +47 74
4 Sevilla FC 34 +22 70
5 Real Sociedad 34 +16 53
6 Villarreal 34 +13 52
7 Real Betis 34 -3 51
8 Granada 34 -12 45
9 Athletic Bilbao 34 +8 45
10 Celta Vigo 34 -5 44
11 Osasuna 34 -10 40
12 Cádiz 34 -20 40
13 Levante 34 -10 38
14 Valencia 34 -8 36
15 Getafe 34 -14 34
16 Alavés 34 -24 31
17 Real Valladolid 34 -14 31
18 Huesca 34 -18 30
19 Elche 34 -21 30
20 Eibar 34 -20 26