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  • Updated: October 16, 2022

La Liga: Griezmann's Strike Earns Atleti Win Over Bilbao To Move 3rd

La Liga: Griezmann's Strike Earns Atleti Win Over Bilbao To

Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann's strike earned Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao to help Diego Simeone's side leapfrog their Basque opponents and move third in LaLiga on Saturday.

Atletico's goal lived a charmed life in the final stages, thanks to brilliant defending from Reinildo Mandava and some impressive saves from Ivo Grbic, who had to come on for the injured Jan Oblak.

Ernesto Valverde's Athletic were awarded a late penalty for handball against Reinildo, but it was cancelled after the officials spotted the ball had struck the defender on the face.

Inaki Williams should have opened the scoring early on but directed a free header off target with Atletico goalkeeper Oblak exposed.

At the other end, Alvaro Morata did fire Atletico ahead after rounding Unai Simon, but his joy was short-lived as VAR proved he had pushed over defender Yeray Alvarez and the goal was disallowed.

Atletico defender Jose Gimenez was booked for a swing which nearly caught Inaki Williams in a sensitive area, while the Ghana international's brother, Nico Williams, got short shrift from Atletico's flawless left-back Reinildo.

Valverde's free-scoring side had netted 12 goals in their last four games, but against a more sturdy Atletico rearguard they found it hard to carve out further chances.

Regardless, Athletic fans, encouraged by their team's strong start to the season, had San Mames rocking during halftime, which was extended while club staff tried to tie down an errant piece of goal net.

Griezmann quickly spoiled the party atmosphere when he stroked home in the 47th minute following a cut-back from Alvaro Morata, breaking the deadlock.

The 31-year-old completed a century of LaLiga goals for Atletico, only the sixth player to do so in the club's history.

The 101st might have followed – Atletico coach Simeone spread his arms in frustration when Griezmann hacked a volley into the ground when well placed to trouble Simon just after the hour mark.

Atletico were dealt an apparent blow when Oblak went off injured, appearing to hurt his shoulder after a collision with Alex Berenguer earlier in the half.

However his replacement Grbic made a fine save to deny Raul Garcia and then an even better one from another header during a scramble in the box, which ended when referee Jorge Figueroa Vazquez pointed to the penalty spot.

Reinildo was accused of a handball but the Mozambican blocked Oier Zarraga's drive with his face and it was scrapped.

Six minutes into stoppage time it seemed Athletic were finally poised to level but Reinildo made another sublime block to deny Raul Garcia just a couple of yards out.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid

Club Atlético de Madrid commonly referred to as Atlético de Madrid or simply as Atlético or Atleti, is a Spanish professional foot...

Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Club, also commonly known as Athletic Bilbao, is a Spanish professional football club based in the city of Bilbao in the Ba...

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