Athletic Club produced a stunning result last night against the leader Atletico Madrid at San Mames and with Barcelona beating Villarreal before that fascinating outcome, the La Liga title race is wide open, with Atleti able to drop from the top spot for the first time in 19 games if Barcelona win their game in hand against Granada on Thursday evening.

Atleti faced a weak Athletic side as Marcelino opted to make changes, but the youngsters in the team started with an intensity that wasn’t matched by the line-up chosen by Simeone, who opted for just one change from the 2-0 win over Huesca in midweek.

Alex Berenguer converted the opening goal eight minutes in after a rapid counter-attack caught Atletico out, with a lacklustre start from Los Colchoneros leaving the team frustrated.

Simeone brought on Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar just shy of the hour mark as the trio all made their return from injury, but it was not enough to win the game.

Stefan Savic rose highest to level the scores in the 77th minute with a header from a corner, but it was another corner that would break Atletico hearts.

With just four minutes left on the clock, Inigo Martinez headed into the Atletico net, beating Jan Oblak.

In the afternoon, it was Barcelona who maintained their consistency as the World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann struck twice to ensure full points.

Barcelona would rue the miss, as later in the half Chukwueze would hand the hosts a 1-0 lead by running onto a surgically played pass from Pau Torres, then taking advantage of a slight slip from Alba, rounding Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and slotting home for the goal.

Chukwueze’s finish was class, but a minute later Griezmann would top that with a sublime goal to pull Barcelona level 1-1. Oscar Mingueza matched Pau Torres with an inch-perfect ball into the Frenchman, who chipped over Asenjo and watched on as the ball bounced softly into the net.

An error from Juan Foyth gifted Barcelona their second.

The Villarreal defender played an ill-advised back pass to Asenjo and Griezmann was all over it, swooping in and firing past Asenjo for a 1-2 Barcelona lead.

In the second half, the tempo of Barca dropped and despite a Manu Trigueros sending off midway through the second half, Villarreal pushed Barcelona until the final whistle – but the visitors were able to hold on the lead.

The result in Bilbao on Sunday night has changed the complexion of the title race completely, meaning that Atletico will have to win at Camp Nou to lift the league title, unless their rivals drop points elsewhere.

Sevilla are also in the race, having beaten Granada in strange circumstances as the referee mistakenly blew the final whistle a minute early.

On 70 points, one behind Real Madrid and Barcelona, they could still win the league should the top three suffer disappointment in any of their

 

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