Inigo Martinez scored a late winner for Athletic Club to deal a serious blow to Atletico Madrid’s title chances as the race at the top of La Liga tightened even further.
Diego Simeone’s side still have a two-point lead at the top of La Liga having played 33 games, but there are now just three points between Atletico Madrid in first place and Sevilla in fourth.
Angel Correa and Marcos Llorente started in attack for the visitors with Joao Felix and Luis Suarez still not fit while Raul Garcia missed out for Athletic Club after falling ill with a fever before kick off.
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It took the hosts just eight minutes to break the deadlock, with Alex Berenguer meeting a deflected Ander Capa cross to head past Jan Oblak and into the back of the Atletico Madrid net.
Felix and Suarez were introduced off the bench on the hour mark as Atleti searched for a way back into the match, but it was Athletic Club who should have found the net again as Oihan Sancet fired over from a one-on-one situation.
The equaliser finally arrived from an unlikely source, with Stefan Savic glancing a header past Unai Simon, who was too quick off his line, from a corner kick to get Atleti back on level terms.
Atleti pressed for a second goal to give them all three points, with Llorente and Suarez both having opportunities, but it was Athletic Club who found the net again when Martinez powered home a headed winner with just four minutes left.

Alejandro Berenguer celebrates

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - This is the most fascinating Spanish title race in years

Three points. That’s all that separates the top four teams in the La Liga table at this moment in time following another slip-up from Atletico Madrid. This means Barcelona can now claim top spot with a victory over Granada on Thursday evening. There will be more twists and turns before the season is over, but Simeone and his players are surely reflecting on how they have allowed a commanding lead to slip through their fingers. Atleti will have to fight now to get this thing over the line. In a strange way, they might actually like it that way.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Inigo Martinez (Athletic Club)

Even if Martinez hadn’t popped up with the winner late on, he would have been handed this award. The Athletic Club centre back repelled everything Atleti threw at him, handling the likes of Correa, Felix, Llorente and Suarez. He was commanding in everything he did and demonstrated why he is such an important figure for Marcelino. And to top it all off Martinez clinched all three points for the Basque side with a powerful header from a corner kick, rising higher than anyone else in the box to meet the cross.

PLAYER RATINGS

Athletic Club: Simon 4, Capa 6, Nunez 7, I. Martinez 9, Balenziaga 6, Berenguer 8, D. Garcia 7, Vencedor 6, Morcillo 6, Villalibre 7, Sancet 6. Subs: Lekue 5, Vesga 5, Lopez 5, Gomez 6, Williams 4.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 5, Trippier 6, Savic 7, Felipe 5, Lodi 5, Herrera 5, Koke 5, Carrasco 6, Saul 4, Correa 7, Llorente 7. Subs: Suarez 4, Lemar 4, Felix 4, Torreira 3, Hermoso 4.

KEY MOMENTS

8’ GOAL! Athletic Club 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Berenguer): An early opener and it has gone the way of Athletic Club! The hosts hit out on the counter attack, the cross from Capa was deflected and Berenguer met it, heading past Oblak and into the back of the Atletico Madrid net! Game on!
60’ SANCET... over! What an opportunity for Athletic Club to double their advantage. They came flying forward on the counter attack, Sancet was clean through, but he puts his effort over the target!
77’ GOAL! Athletic Club 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Savic): A huge goal for Atletico Madrid! And it's come from a very unlikely source! Savic has found the back of the net with a glancing header into the back of the net from a corner kick! Where was Simon going? He came rushing off his line!
86’ GOAL! Athletic Club 2-1 Atletico Madrid (Martinez): WHAT A MOMENT! Martinez towered above the Atletico Madrid defence and powered home a header from a corner kick! That is a hammer blow to Atleti's title hopes! That's the sound of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla fans celebrating!

KEY STATS

  • Inaki Williams made his 189th consecutive appearance for Athletic Club in La Liga, surpassing Luis Miguel Arconada‘s previous record of 188.
  • Alex Berenguer has been directly involved in more goals (11) than any other Athletic Club player in La Liga this season.
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