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The battle of two undefeated sides as Atletico Madrid welcomed Athletic Bilbao. Diego Simeone’s side would go top if they managed to avoid defeat while a win would do the same for the away side.

Atletico started the brighter of the two, pushing Bilbao on the backfoot in the opening exchanges. However, Bilbao held their own well and the game evened out soon. The home side were enjoying more of the possession with Bilbao happy to attack on the break.



There were no major moments to talk about as the game crossed the half-hour mark. Both sides kind of going back-and-forth without any great chances. The play in the final third left much to be desired with the game being 0-0 at halftime.



The first chance after the break fell to Correa who was picked out by Lodi but skewed his header well wide. The best chance of the match however came from a bursting run by Williams who bore down on Oblak. Unfortunately, his final shot curled just wide of the post as the goalkeeper came out to close the angle.



The dogged nature of the match continued with Simeone bringing on Suarez, Carrasco and Felix in the hopes of scoring. However, the Bilbao defence nullified any danger without too much worry. Llorente came closes as his fizzing shot from near the penalty box came back off the base of the post with 15 minutes of the game left. Simon may have got the slightest touch on it which made it a brilliant save.



A major moment in the match came just before the final 10 minutes. Felix and Berenguer got into an altercation with Atletico getting the free-kick. However, Felix’s wayward arm hit the Bilbao man which led to a yellow card for the youngster. Incensed at the card, his comments at the referee did not go down well as he was shown a second yellow card and sent off.



Bilbao had a great chance in the 90th minute with Villalibre lifting the ball over Oblak and over the goal after being cleverly set up. There was to be no more meaningful action except Gimenez getting booked after the final whistle as it finished all square.



Here are the three key takeaways from the match:



Simeone’s side are well known for grinding out results and scoring when necessary in tight contests. That was not the case today as their combined bevvy of forwards were ineffective for most parts. Apart from Llorente’s strike, there was nothing overtly worrying for Bilbao. Griezmann is going through a lean spell while Correa was kept well quiet.



Though the introduction of Carrasco brought some life through his clever running, Felix’s harsh sending off killed off any chances of winning. Though they temporarily moved to the summit, that could change following the encounter between Real Madrid and Valencia tomorrow.



Inaki Williams, playing in his 200th straight match, fluffed a brilliant chance after running through on goal which really should have been finished better. There were not a host of clear cut opportunities but another great one arrived just at the finishing time.



Substitute Villalibre was cleverly found by Berenguer but the attacker could not keep his finish down. Even with a man advantage, there was nothing overtly better that Bilbao could have done and Marcelinho will be bittersweet with the match’s final result.



The key flashpoint was of course the two yellow cards for Felix within 20 seconds. The initial foul in the buildup to it saw Berenguer dragging the Portuguese by his shirt which inadvertently caused Felix’s arm to strike his face. That was a harsh yellow by most accounts but the striker could have few complaints with how he talked himself into a second.




Pointing a finger to his temple to suggest the referee was not mentally sound is a big no-no and even Simeone seemed to be resigned to the fact. Felix’s tough start to the season continues as he is set to miss even more future action.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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