Last-placed Alavés stuns Atlético 1-0 in Spanish league

National Sports

MADRID (AP)Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were held again as Atletico Madrid missed a chance to regain the Spanish league lead in a shock 1-0 loss at last-placed Alaves on Saturday.

Victor Laguardia scored with a header off a corner four minutes into the match to give Alaves its first points of the season and end Atletico’s unbeaten run. The defending champions hadn’t lost in seven matches in all competitions this season.

Atletico stayed in second place, two points behind Real Madrid, which hosts Villarreal later Saturday.

Diego Simeone’s team has won only one of its last four matches in all competitions, with the only goals during that run coming from Suarez late in the 2-1 come-from-behind win at Getafe on Tuesday.

Suarez couldn’t come through on Saturday, and Griezmann continued to disappoint in his return to Atletico after a two-year stint with Barcelona. The France forward is yet to score in eight games with Atletico this season.

Simeone couldn’t count on Portugal forward Joao Felix because of a two-game suspension for disrespecting a referee.

”Alaves played very well defensively and deserved the victory,” Simeone said. ”It’s normal to go through difficult moments during the season and that’s probably happening to us right now.”

The home victory kept Alaves from equaling its worst-ever start to the league after six straight losses in 2017-18. The win also moved the team off the bottom of the league.

Alaves hadn’t beaten Atletico in the league since 2003, with eight losses and four draws in that span.

The only team left without a point to start the season is Getafe, which visits Real Betis on Sunday.

VALENCIA RALLIES

Valencia rallied late with 10 men to draw 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao at home, halting a two-game losing streak.

Bilbao took the lead with a goal from Inigo Martinez in the 69th but Marcos Andre equalized five minutes into stoppage time at Mestalla Stadium.

The hosts had lost Maxi Gomez with a red card in the 82nd.

The victory moved Valencia to fifth place, while Athletic – enduring a three-match winless run – stayed in seventh.

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