With late help from VAR, Atletico rallies to beat Athletic
MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid rallied to defeat Athletic Bilbao 3-2 in the Spanish league on Saturday, with Diego Godin’s winner coming after a video review in second-half stoppage time.
Godin’s last-gasp goal was initially disallowed because of offside, but the call was reversed after the VAR confirmed the defender was in legal position when he headed the ball into the net.
The Atletico captain was playing with a muscle injury and stayed in the match only because Atletico had already made all three substitutions at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
The hosts twice came from behind after a pair of goals by Athletic forward Inaki Willians. Midfielders Thomas Partey and Rodrigo scored for Atletico in the second half.
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The dramatic victory moved Atletico one point behind league leader Barcelona, which hosts Real Betis on Sunday. Espanyol can move past Atletico when it visits fourth-place Sevilla on Sunday.
Sixth-place Real Madrid, coming off three straight victories since interim coach Santiago Solari replaced the fired Julen Lopetegui, visits Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Atletico was coming off a convincing 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
The last-minute loss added to a disappointing season for Athletic, which hasn’t won in 11 straight matches and can drop into the relegation zone by the end of the weekend. Its last victory was in August. Since then, the Basque Country club has drawn seven matches and lost four.
Willians’ first goal was an easy tap in after a shot by Mikel San Jose struck the post and bounced in front of the goal line in the 36th. His second came after a fast breakaway in the 64th, entering the area and sending a low shot into the net three minutes after Partey equalized for Atletico with a powerful long-range shot, hitting the upper right corner from more than 25 meters away.
Rodrigo evened the match for the hosts again with a header off a corner in the 80th, scoring his first goal since joining Atletico from Villarreal in the summer.
Godin’s winner came after Partey sent a free kick into the area and Griezmann redirected the ball toward the goal mouth as the Uruguay defender appeared behind the defenders.
Valencia’s good run continued with a 1-0 win at Getafe thanks to a late penalty kick that was also awarded through video review.
Dani Parejo converted the 81st-minute penalty after the VAR showed forward Kevin Gameiro was pulled by a defender inside the area.
The goal gave Valencia its second straight win in all competitions. It defeated Swiss club Young Boys 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Valencia had won only two other matches in its 14 previous matches this season.
The result moved Valencia to 14th in the standings, five points above the relegation zone.
Getafe, 10th in the standings, hadn’t lost in four matches in all competitions.
Valladolid, owned by former Brazil striker Ronaldo, moved to seventh despite being held to a 0-0 home draw against Eibar.
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