Lacklustre Atletico Madrid lose to Alaves on road


Alavés vs. Atletico Madrid - Game Highlights

Watch the Game Highlights from Alavés vs. Atletico Madrid, 04/21/2024

Atletico Madrid suffered a 2-0 LaLiga defeat away to Alaves on Sunday courtesy of a first-half goal from Carlos Benavidez and Luis Rioja's superb late effort as the visitors missed the chance to cement their advantage in fourth place.

Diego Simeone's side were far from their best after being knocked out of the Champions League in midweek by Borussia Dortmund and remain on 61 points, seven behind Girona and only three clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao in the battle for European spots.

"After Tuesday's [Champions League] blow, it's not easy to come out of it. Right away, their first chance was a goal. We couldn't have a first half where we could play the game we wanted," coach Simeone told DAZN.

"The second half was different, we were closer to equalising. Rioja then scored a great goal. We congratulate them and let's get back to work."

"I'm very proud of my team mates. It means a lot, we want to be in the top flight next year and every game costs a lot," Alaves keeper Antonio Sivera said.

"Today from the first minute we were very strong. We were focused for the whole 90 minutes and we were lucky not to concede a goal and for Rioja's goal."

Atletico next host Athletic on Saturday in a key match for the last Champions League berth.

"We have to do much better. Alaves needed the three points as much as we did. It's a bad situation," Atletico keeper Jan Oblak said.

"I'm disappointed, but we are strong. We have to keep going. We're together to get into the Champions League and we're going to do everything we can to change this."