Llorente double as Bilbao sweep past Atletico
Fernando Llorente scored twice for Athletic Bilbao as they tore apart Atletico Madrid 3-0 in a devastating seven-minute spell.
Gaizka Toquero joined Llorente on the scoresheet as the hosts ran amok midway through the second half to secure a win which lifts them above their opponents in the Primera Division standings. Defeat will put even more pressure on Atletico coach Gregorio Manzano, who has come in for heavy criticism over his side's poor form.
Both teams came into the match looking to turn around disappointing starts to the season, having picked up two wins each so far in the league. And both showed signs of nerves at the San Mames stadium, although Jose Antonio helped settle Atletico with a left-footed drive which just cleared the crossbar after nine minutes. Filipe Luis gave the visitors further encouragement seven minutes later, firing wide of the right post from near the penalty spot.
Bilbao had to wait 22 minutes for their first real chance but it eventually arrived from the boot of Llorente, who also powered over the bar from 20 yards out. Oscar De Marcos threatened to break the deadlock after 39 minutes, forcing visiting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to palm away his testing right-footed drive.
De Marcos tried his luck again four minutes after the restart, but this time failed to keep his shot below the bar, and was even more wasteful on the hour mark with a close-range header which fell wide of the mark.
But Bilbao's persistence paid off after 68 minutes thanks to Llorente, who ran on to a pass from Markel Susaeta before dispatching a shot from 12 yards in the bottom left corner.
The visitors had barely had time to register that goal when Llorente scored again, heading home a teasing cross from Toquero.
And Atletico's misery was compounded after 75 minutes. Toquero was the receiver this time, getting on to the end of a cross from Herrera and powering a header into the bottom right of the net to leave no way back for their opponents.