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December 21, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Antoine Griezmann netted a second-half hat trick to help Atletico Madrid roar back for a 4-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, as Diego Simeone's side pulled within four points off the lead in the Spanish league.

Bilbao bossed the first 45 minutes at its New San Mames Stadium, not allowing Atletico a shot on goal while Mikel Rico headed in a free kick for the 17th-minute lead.

But Atletico emerged the more aggressive side from halftime and Griezmann headed in Juanfran Torres' cross seconds after the restart.

Raul Garcia put the titleholders ahead in the 53rd from the penalty spot before Griezmann struck a decisive double blow with breakaway goals in the 73rd and 81st.

Third-place Atletico is four points behind leader Real Madrid, which has a game in hand.

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