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Felix sees red and Griezmann struggles again as Atletico held

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Referee Felix Zwayer (L) shows the yellow card to Frankfurt's Dutch midfielder Jonathan de Guzman during the German first division Bundesliga football match VfL Wolfsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt on September 19, 2021 in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. (Photo: Ronny HARTMANN / AFP)


MADRID, Spain – Joao Felix was sent off and Antoine Griezmann failed to fire again as Atletico Madrid was held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao in a bad-tempered contest on Saturday.اضافة اعلان

Griezmann started ahead of Luis Suarez, but was replaced by the Uruguayan after 55 minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano without registering a shot on target.

Felix came on too as Atletico chased a winner, only to be shown a second yellow card for dissent, the 21-year-old lashing the ball into the crowd in frustration. 

The ball hit an Atletico supporter, who did not appear seriously hurt but left the stadium.

The stalemate is Atletico's second in four days after Wednesday's draw at home to Porto in the Champions League, suggesting Diego Simeone is still to find a formula that makes best use of his wealth of attacking options.

"I have absolute confidence in the team we have and we are going to work to get the best out of those names and to get what we always want, which is goals," said Simeone.

La Liga's reigning champions have now drawn two and won three of their opening five games while Athletic continues their impressive start under Marcelino Garcia Toral, whose side also drew with Barcelona last month. 

Atletico was raging at referee Jesus Gil in the latter stages and after the final whistle, a cluster of players picking up yellow cards for their protests.

Felix has cut a frustrated figure this year, unable to justify his 126-million-euro price tag, while Griezmann has made three appearances since his return from Barcelona but is yet to make an impression.

The Frenchman was whistled in midweek by his own fans and while the reception was slightly warmer this time, he gave little for the Atletico supporters to cheer about.

Griezmann went closest after 57 seconds, when he darted to the front post, but his shot flew over, and then he controlled another cross shortly after but was unable to put power into the finish.

Inaki Williams volleyed over shortly before half-time and then had the best chance of the match to put Athletic in front, stealing the ball away from Jose Gimenez and racing clear. With only Jan Oblak to beat, Williams side footed wide.

When Felix had his shirt pulled back by Unai Vencedor the free-kick went Athletic's way, much to the dismay of Felix. He shouted at the referee, tapped his finger against his temple and watched a second yellow card go up.

Athletic should have won it late on but Asier Villalibre blazed high with only Oblak to beat. 

Atletico was fuming when Gil blew for the final whistle with Carrasco sent clear, but the six minutes of stoppage time were up.

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