Atletico Madrid keep pressure on Barcelona with win vs. Athletic Bilbao
Atletico Madrid 2 - 0 Athletic Bilbao

Atletico Madrid keep pressure on Barcelona with win vs. Athletic Bilbao

18/02/2018

Atletico Madrid closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona back to seven points with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Kevin Gameiro came off the bench to break the deadlock with his fourth goal in his last six games before Diego Costa hit Atletico's second to ensure they reopened the nine-point gap they held over third-placed Valencia going into the weekend.

Atletico started the match with Costa, Antoine Griezmann and Angel Correa all in attack, but neither they nor Athletic were able to muster a shot on target in the first half in the Spanish capital.

Costa, who has not scored for three games going into the Bilbao clash, was booked late on in the first half for a gesture made toward the referee in a show of frustration at being ruled offside.

Costa sparked his team into life after half-time, as coach Diego Simeone replaced the injured Lucas Hernandez with Diego Godin. The Spain international firstly forced a low save from Kepa Arrizabalaga with a right-footed strike before heading over the bar, and the Athletic keeper was called into action against the stop Correa's long-range effort.

Gameiro replaced Koke on the hour mark, and seven minutes later the substitute fired Atletico ahead. Griezmann fed his fellow France international with a weighted pass, and Gameiro slid home a low shoot for his seventh of the season.

The former Sevilla forward then had a hand in the clinching goal with 10 minutes remaining when a defensive error from Unai Nunez allowed Costa to fire low across goal for his fourth goal in eight games since starting his second spell at the club last month.

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