Athletic Bilbao overcome Atletico Madrid by two clean goals

Atletico Madrid’s chances of finishing second in La Liga and qualifying for the upcoming Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia were dashed on Saturday when they were defeated 2-0 by Athletic Bilbao.

They are still fourth in the table with 61 points, three points behind second-placed Sevilla, who were forced to a 1-1 home draw by relegation-threatened Cadiz on Friday, and two points behind third-placed Barcelona, who have a game in hand and visit lowly Mallorca on Sunday.

Coach Diego Simeone is concerned about more than just a Super Cup position since Atletico is just four points clear of fifth-placed Real Betis, which has a game in hand and visits Getafe on Monday.

Only the top four teams in La Liga qualify for the Champions League.

An uninspired Atletico Madrid were overrun by the hosts on a day highlighted by Real Madrid’s championship celebrations after they had previously triumphed 4-0 at home to Espanyol.

Athletic, who are currently ninth in the table with 51 points, took the lead in the eighth minute when defender Mario Hermoso blocked a cross-shot by Inaki Williams into his own goal.

Atletico, who will be without in-form attacker Joao Felix for the remainder of the season due to a leg injury, were frequently troubled by Williams and Iker Muniain, who were twice stopped by the post and twice by goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Athletic’s second goal came in the 56th minute when Williams converted a penalty after Muniain was fouled by Mexican midfielder Hector Herrera. As Oblak dove to his left, Williams scored with a ‘Panenka’ chip down the center of the goal.

Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to win all five major European titles on Saturday, as Real Madrid won their 35th La Liga title with a 4-0 home triumph against Espanyol.

Madrid needed only one point from their past five games and scored twice via Rodrygo in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu, before Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema clinched the triumph.

Madrid raised the trophy in front of roughly 80,000 fans inside the stadium, and the usual festivities continued around Madrid’s Cibeles fountain.

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