Hurting Atletico fall to defeat at Alaves

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Atletico Madrid suffered a 2-0 defeat at Alaves in La Liga on Sunday to dent their chances of a top four finish and end a woeful week.

3 weeks ago
On Tuesday Atletico crashed out of the Champions League in the last eight after throwing away a first-leg advantage at Borussia Dortmund">Borussia Dortmund. Athletic Bilbao's draw against Granada on Friday gave Atletico, fourth, the opportunity to distance themselves from the fifth-place Basques, but Carlos Benavidez and Luis Rioja helped the hosts to an impressive triumph.
Atletico are three points clear of Ernesto Valverde's Leones with six matches remaining. "It's a bad game, we've lost, we were not good (and) Alaves won it," Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak told DAZN. "We have to do a lot better. Alaves needed the three points like us but we did badly."
Rioja's superb late volley to cap Alaves' win delighted their Mendizorroza stadium and helped them climb to 13th, 10 points clear of the relegation zone. Alaves, handing the Atletico coach's son Giuliano Simeone, on loan from the Rojiblancos, his first start of the season, deserved their victory. Benavidez curled home the opening goal in the 15th minute with a fine strike from the edge of the box after the ball was cleared into his path.
Giuliano Simeone then blasted over a good chance, leaving his father grateful on the touchline. The visitors were also fortunate not to concede a penalty before half-time. Cesar Azpilicueta handled in the box and although the referee pointed to the spot, after a VAR review he overturned his decision, apparently adjudging Kike Garcia to have fouled the defender.
Alaves goalkeeper Antonio Sivera stopped Samuel Lino's low strike from Atletico's best chance as the clock ticked down. Sivera made another good save to deny Angel Correa after Antoine Griezmann's neat backheel gave the Argentine forward a sight of goal.
With Atletico unable to capitalise on their chances Alaves killed the game with Rioja's stunning volley in stoppage time searing past Oblak and into the top corner. "We're in a terrible dynamic," added Oblak. "We have to improve and if we don't, this end to the season will be very tough."


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