La Liga: Toothless Atletico Madrid beaten at Eibar 2-0

A lifeless performance in poor conditions saw Atletico Madrid beaten by Eibar on its return to La Liga action.

Esteban Burgos (C) opened the scoring against Atletico Madrid   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid suffered only its third La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday as Esteban Burgos and Edu Exposito sealed a 2-0 win for Eibar.

Having lost the Supercopa de Espana final to Real Madrid on penalties six days ago, Diego Simeone's side looked sluggish and short of inspiration in the heavy rain at Ipurua.

Burgos struck just 10 minutes into the contest to give Eibar a deserved lead, and Jose Luis Mendilibar's side held onto its advantage with relative ease in the second half despite Atleti's control of possession.

Exposito buried a precise strike in the 90th minute to give the host a 2-0 victory they fully deserved. Eibar's early pressure told 10 minutes in when Burgos tapped home following Sergi Enrich's header, the goal given after a VAR check saw the initial offside decision overturned.

 

Joao Felix was denied by a good Marko Dmitrovic save, but only a crucial block from Santiago Arias denied Takashi Inui a second for Eibar.

Atleti was certainly second best in the first half but Angel Correa missed two clear chances to equalise, the forward unable to connect cleanly with Vitolo's cross from barely six yards out and then failing to beat Dmitrovic after Vitolo's stumble.

Simeone opted against any changes at the break and there was little difference to Atleti's level of creativity against an Eibar side happy to hold onto its advantage.

Joao Felix worked hard to create inroads but to little effect, while Alvaro Morata saw a header comfortably saved, and the host secured only a second win in eight league games when Exposito arrowed a fine finish beyond Jan Oblak after a corner was cleared straight to his feet.

 

What does it mean? Atleti in danger of being cast adrift in title race

Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Sevilla earlier meant Atleti would have moved three points ahead of Julen Lopetegui's side, and back to within five of its city rival, had it won.

However, the nature of its display will give fans little belief it can keep pace with Madrid and Barca at the top of the table even though it has 18 games still to play.

As for Eibar, it is now seven points above the drop zone.

What's next?

Atleti heads to Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Thursday before hosting Leganes in La Liga on Sunday. Eibar faces Badajoz in the cup, then travels to Celta Vigo.

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