Costa On Target As Atletico Close The Gap On Barca
Spanish LaLiga Report: Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao 18 February 2018
Result: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao
Date: 18 February 2018
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid move to within seven points of LaLiga leaders FC Barcelona as goals from Kevin Gameiro and Diego Costa secured a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Antoine Griezmann had a chance to grab the lead for home side in the seventh minute with chip from outside the box with the goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga off his line, but effort sailed just over the crossbar
Costa thought he had won Madrid a penalty in the 21st minute after going down under the challenge from Unai Nunez but the referee waved away the striker's appeal.
Diego Simeone’s charges enjoyed a good spell of possession towards the half-hour mark, poking holes in the visitors’ defence but luck was not yet on their side.
Costa almost broke the deadlock in the 37th minute after being sent through on goal by Koke but his shot from just outside the box missed narrowly wide.
The hosts could not turn their dominance into goals and the first stanza ended goalless.
Costa came close to finding the breakthrough 10 minutes into the second stanza with a breathtaking half-volley from the centre of the box but Kepa was equally brilliant in his save to keep the scores level.
In the 68th minute, Kevin Gameiro finally broke the deadlock after Madrid took a quick free-kick with Griezmann setting up Gameiro, who sent a powerful low strike into the bottom corner, 1-0.
Costa put the game beyond Bilbao nine minutes before time after holding his nerve in a one-on-one situation to pick the bottom corner with a side footed shot, 2-0.
The hosts had a couple more chances in the closing stages, but the two goals proved enough for the three points.