Athletic Bilbao fails to win again and jeopardizes access to the Champions League

Athletic Bilbao draws with Granada and adds a third consecutive game without a win.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 10:59, 20 Apr 2024

Athletic Bilbao's hopes for a Champions League spot took another hit as they drew 1-1 with Granada at home in the 32nd round of the Spanish League.

This result extends their winless streak to three games, a disappointing phase for a team that was performing well earlier in the season.

The match began unfavorably for Athletic when Iñaki Williams inadvertently scored an own goal just six minutes into the game. The mishap occurred during a corner kick, as Williams tried to clear the ball from his area but instead sent it into his own net. This early setback put the Basque team on the back foot as they struggled to regroup and counter Granada's advantage.

Despite the early own goal, Athletic pushed forward in search of an equalizer, which came in the 24th minute. Gorka Guruzeta, seizing an opportunity from a rebound inside the box, managed to level the score. While this goal revived Athletic's hopes momentarily, the team failed to convert any further chances into a win, with Granada's defensive efforts effectively keeping them at bay.

The recent downturn in Athletic's form has been costly. In their last three matches, they have dropped a total of seven points. This includes a 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu and subsequent home draws against Villarreal and now Granada, both ending 1-1. This sequence of results has seen them slip out of the Champions League qualifying spots.

Meanwhile, Atlético Madrid has taken full advantage of Athletic Bilbao's misfortunes, moving up to fourth place in the standings and securing a Champions League position, leaving Athletic in fifth. The top of the league remains competitive, with Real Madrid leading with 78 points, followed by Barcelona with 70, and Girona with 65.

On the other end of the table, Granada remains in a precarious position, occupying the 19th spot with only 18 points, just above Almeria, who is last with 14 points, and below Cadiz with 25 points. These positions highlight the intense relegation battle unfolding as the season progresses.

Athletic Bilbao's decline is particularly frustrating for fans and players alike, given the high expectations set earlier in the season. The team now faces a challenging task to regain their form and climb back into a top-four finish, with limited matches remaining in the season.

Updated: 10:59, 20 Apr 2024