BILBAO             -         Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday on their return to action after La Liga’s three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, missing out on the chance to capitalise on slip-ups by their rivals for Champions League places.

Iker Muniain gave Athletic the lead in an empty San Mames stadium by prodding home in the 37th minute to complete a clever move but Atletico responded two minutes later when Diego Costa slotted in following a through ball from Koke. Atletico are sixth on 46 points, level with fifth-placed Getafe, who lost at Granada on Friday, and fourth-placed Real Sociedad, who host Osasuna later on Sunday. Athletic are 10th on 38.

“We’re not in the worst situation as this was our first game back and Athletic are a difficult side but we cannot afford to slip up again if we want to get into the Champions League,” said Atletico midfielder Koke. “It’s strange to come to a place like San Mames which is usually spectacular and which lives for football and to have no fans but we hope we can get back to normality soon.”