Atletico Madrid had cause to feel aggrieved as they twice saw perfectly good goals ruled out in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Athletic Bilbao, who finished with 10 men.
Antoine Griezmann thought he had put Diego Simeone’s side in front just before the interval, but his effort was correctly disallowed for an offside in the build-up.
However, the hosts then saw two strikes – from Griezmann and Tiago respectively – erroneously chalked off for offside in the second half.
Though Bilbao were reduced to 10 men late on when Unai Bustinza fouled Saul to earn his second booking, Atletico were unable to find an opening and had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Fernando Torres was rewarded for his midweek heroics with a start against Bilbao, who – despite being without top scorer Aritz Aduriz – almost took an early lead through Mikel San Jose, the midfielder heading wide after connecting with Andoni Iraola’s corner.
It was the hosts who went close next when Raul Garcia, in for Arda Turan, clipped the right-hand post with a rasping volley from the edge of the box.
Garcia had another opportunity as he rose highest to meet Koke’s corner, but the Spaniard could only direct a tame header at Iago Herrerin.
Tempers threatened to boil over as half-time neared, as Torres went down in the box after a tussle with Xabier Etxeita, but the Milan loanee’s appeals were waved away as he received a yellow card for simulation.
Griezmann, with eight goals in his previous six matches, looked as though he had put the hosts ahead soon after when he fired in from close range, but the goal was chalked off after Garcia had ventured beyond the last man earlier in the move.
Atletico’s leading scorer struck again just after the restart – beating the offside trap and dispatching firmly into the bottom-left corner – but the celebrations were stemmed by the linesman’s raised flag.
Despite their domination, Atletico would have fallen behind just before the hour if not for a brilliant stop from Jan Oblak, who did well to parry away San Jose’s close-range strike.
There was further frustration to follow with 20 minutes remaining as the same official ruled out Tiago’s tap-in, despite the Portuguese having been well onside when he latched onto a free-kick from substitute Turan.
Herrerin then repeated Oblak’s heroics when he pulled off a superb stop from Griezmann’s point-blank effort, somehow turning the winger’s volley wide.
Bilbao were dealt a blow in stoppage time when Bustinza received a second yellow for dragging back Atletico substitute Saul, but the visitors survived to seal a point and move up into seventh.
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