MADRID: Luis Suarez’s penalty gave Atletico Madrid a six-point lead in La Liga as the leaders faced resurgent Athletic Bilbao at home, before winning 2-1.
Atletico missed late in the game to be tied with Real Madrid on Sunday, a result that gave their opponents a chance to chase the title and allow Barcelona to be just three points behind.
But Diego Simeone’s side made full use of the remainder of their last game with a Marcos Llorente header and Suarez’s penalty changing Iker Muniain’s opening goal for Bilbao, who dominated the first half.
Suarez and Llorente have been the main pillars behind Atletico’s resurgence this season and it was proven once again at Wanda Metropolitano, with Suarez blasting home his 18th league goal of the season after Llorente scored his ninth goal.
The win also puts Atletico eight points ahead of Real Madrid when they face Barcelona in May, next month’s Clasico meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu will have an impact on the title hunt by his challenger.
Atletico are battling to beat one of the best -performing squads in the league and are close to clinching their first La Liga title since 2014.
Bilbao have improved a lot since the appointment of Marcelino Garcia Toral, who in two months saw them win the Spanish Super Cup, advance to the Copa del Rey final and return to the league to qualify for Europe.