Athletic defeated Atlético 2-1 at San Mamés, with goals by Berenguer and Iñigo Martínez
Athletic Club picked up a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Atlético Madrid at San Mamés. Centre-back Iñigo Martínez scored the winner in a game where Athletic were made to work for the three points.
In a week marked by the European Super League, the Lions showed the world there is another way, the Athletic way. Great performances by home-grown youngsters, such as Oihan Sancet, Asier Villalibre, Jon Morcillo and Unai Vencedor, helped Athletic defeat Diego Simeone’s star-studded side.
The Lions came out bold and hungry, ready to take advantage of the spaces left by an Atlético who knew they had to take the lead.
The opening goal came via a dazzling counter-attack between Ander Capa, Sancet, who had a great game on his 21st birthday, and Alex Berenguer. The full-back’s cross was headed home by Alex with a spectacular diving header.
Atletico’s best chance of the first half was an Ángel Correa effort, while Villalibre tested Oblak with a fierce drive. Capa sent a volley high before hurting his right knee in a collision with Dani Garcia. Even Sancet threatened with a header over the top from Morcillo’s cross.
After the break, the Colchoneros were more dominant. Nonetheless, the first big chance of the second half was for Athletic. Morcillo launched a counter-attack down the left before squaring it for Sancet, who then fired over the crossbar.
Simeone brought on the big guns, but once again Athletic looked closest to scoring. Iñaki Williams glided past his marker down the left before cutting it back for Unai López, but the midfielder’s close-range shot was blocked.
One minute later, Atlético equalised with Stefan Savic scoring a header at the near-post from a corner.
Athletic didn’t shrink, forcing the corner from which Iñigo Martínez scored a powerful header. What a pity that San Mamés wasn’t full to applaud him! On Wednesday, Athletic host Real Valladolid as they attempt to move up to eighth in the table.