Atletico Madrid beats Bilbao to stay within 7 points of Barca


Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa. (Rodrigo Jimenez/EPA)

BARCELONA, Spain — Diego Costa and Kevin Gameiro scored second-half goals to give Atletico Madrid a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and keep it within seven points of Spanish league leader Barcelona.

Atletico will visit Barcelona on March 4 in what could be its last chance to inject some drama into the title race.

Gameiro broke the deadlock at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium eight minutes after replacing Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion in the 59th. The forward scored from a pass by Antoine Griezmann after Saul Niguez had recovered the ball in midfield to spring an attack that caught Bilbao in disarray.

Costa sealed the result with 10 minutes left when Bilbao defender Unai Nunez failed to intercept a pass by Gameiro, leaving the Spain striker all alone to fire past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Diego Simeone’s side suffocated Bilbao’s attack, which never threatened goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The hosts, who have conceded a league-low nine goals, recorded their 16th clean sheet through 24 rounds.

"It was a good day for us. We worked hard and scored two goals," Gameiro said. "We don’t stop, we are playing well and are going to enjoy this."

Atletico has won four straight in the league and started its Europa League campaign on Thursday with a 4-1 victory at Copenhagen.


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