Atletico Madrid 0-0 Athletic Bilbao: Joao Felix sent off as toothless champions frustrated at home again

By Sports Desk September 18, 2021

Atletico Madrid lacked the required cutting edge to beat Athletic Bilbao as the defending Spanish champions had Joao Felix sent off in a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Diego Simeone's side had been hoping to prove their struggles in a stalemate against Porto in midweek were not indicative of wider problems, but they disappointed the home crowd again.

The hosts had looked promising at the start, though Athletic soon grew into the game and defensively they were able to frustrate Atletico.

Inaki Williams was unable to make the most of a rare moment of defensive frailty from Los Colchoneros, though they were never made to rue his miss as Atletico failed to break the deadlock, the post denying Marcos Llorente late on before Joao Felix's red card encapsulated the home side's frustration.

Atletico enjoyed some pressure during the early exchanges, with Antoine Griezmann shooting wide from close range and Stefan Savic heading into the arms of Unai Simon from a similar distance.

But those half-chances were hardly precursors to a sustained onslaught, with Atletico not worrying Athletic again before the break.

They came out after the interval with renewed purpose, as Angel Correa headed just wide from Renan Lodi's cross.

But Athletic crafted the best chance of the game two minutes later, Williams poking the ball through Jose Gimenez's legs before charging through on goal, only to let Atletico off the hook by not even hitting the target when one-on-one with Jan Oblak.

Simeone turned to Luis Suarez – seemingly dropped after an ineffective showing against Porto – as he made four substitutions in five minutes before the hour, though the Uruguayan's lack of pace was glaring when unable to run through on goal when released by fellow substitute Yannick Carrasco.

Llorente attempted to take matters into his own hands but saw his long-range effort crash off the post, before Atletico's chances took a final blow when Joao Felix – another sub – was booked twice in quick succession, the second for dissent, and he left the pitch in a furious mood.

Asier Villalibre then squandered a glorious chance to win it in stoppage-time, slicing over with only Oblak in his path.

Related items

  • Mahomes lifts Chiefs past Allen's Bills in seesawing overtime thriller Mahomes lifts Chiefs past Allen's Bills in seesawing overtime thriller

    Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a game-winning touchdown in overtime as the Kansas City Chiefs reached the AFC Championship game for the fourth straight season beating the Buffalo Bills 42-36 on Sunday.

    The Bills thought they had wrapped up the victory when quarterback Josh Allen found Gabriel Davis for his record-breaking fourth touchdown to lead 36-33 with 17 seconds left.

    But the Chiefs rallied their way down the field led by Mahomes, getting within field-goal range with Harrison Butker sending it to over-time.

    Mahomes was heroic, throwing for 177 yards after the two-minute warning, with three lead changes inside the final two minutes, before Butker's tying field goal.

    The composed Chiefs QB, who completed 33 of 44 attempts for 378 yards with three touchdowns as well as 69 rushing yards including a TD, found Kelce in the corner to settle the game 4:15 into overtime after they had won the crucial overtime coin flip.

    Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Tyreek Hill also scored TDs, the latter restoring the Chiefs' lead in the final two minutes after Allen had combined with Davis.

    Allen completed 27 of 37 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Davis had eight catches for 201 yards and four TDs. Running back Devin Singletary scored the Bills' other TD.

    The Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead on Sunday.

  • Brady quiet on playing future amid retirement talk after Bucs' playoffs exit Brady quiet on playing future amid retirement talk after Bucs' playoffs exit

    Tom Brady declined to discuss his playing future amid retirement talk after almost pulling off a miracle comeback as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crashed out of the NFL playoffs.

    The Bucs trailed 27-3 but fought back to level the game in the final quarter before eventually losing 30-27 to the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday's Divisional playoff.

    Brady threw a spectacular pass for Mike Evans for a 55-yard touchdown to make it 27-20 in the fourth quarter.

    Tampa Bay's exit comes amid growing speculation about the 44-year-old quarterback's future, with one year remaining on his Bucs contract.

    "I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. Just take it day-by-day and see where we’re at,” Brady told reporters after the game.

    Brady added: "The truth of it is I'm only thinking about this game. I'm not thinking about anything past five minutes from now."

    Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians offered no insight into the situation either, stating "that's up to Tom" when pressed on the issue.

    Brady completed 30 of 54 attempts for 329 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's defeat. The seven-time Super Bowl champion had a 67.5 percent completion rate for a career-high 5,316 yards with 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season.

    The Bucs had entered the playoffs as the NFC's second seed but fell short after going all the way last season as fifth seeds.

    "Always tough losing at the end of the year," Brady said.

    "Obviously we showed a lot of fight but at the end of the day when you lose a game, you lose a game."

  • Xavi: Alaves win shows there is life in Barcelona yet Xavi: Alaves win shows there is life in Barcelona yet

    Barcelona head coach Xavi says Sunday's 1-0 win at Alaves shows that there is life in the Blaugrana yet.

    Frenkie de Jong netted an 88th-minute winner to clinch the points for Xavi's side, who move up to fifth in LaLiga, one point behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

    Barcelona bossed possession (76-24 percent) and generated 10-6 shots with 4-2 on target, getting their just reward with the Dutchman's late goal.

    "It cost us a lot, but they were three crucial points and the team needed and deserved them," Xavi told reporters. "The sun has risen again, this victory shows that there is life."

    He added: "It means a lot of confidence, continuing to believe in what we do."

    Barcelona will enjoy a break before their next league game against Spanish champions Atletico Madrid on Sunday 6 February.

    “We are in the fight, one point away from the Champions League," Xavi said. "These days are going to come in handy. They will come in very handy."

    The Barcelona boss was also complimentary towards teenager Pedri, who has only just returned to the fold following a thigh injury. Pedri made his first LaLiga start since August.

    "He’s a marvellous little player, and at 19, to do everything well is spectacular," Xavi said.

    "How he looks in possession, how he perceives the game, he is excellent and the model player. He can lead by character, quality, ambition, it’s great to have him back in the team."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.