Athletic Club vs Espanyol: 2-0
The race for the European places is heating up in La Liga, with 6 points separating 5 sides that look set to contest the Europa League places. These are two of those teams, although it’s Athletic that look the more capable of securing a top six finish. Athletic Bilbao has now finally started winning a few games on the road and their home record remains excellent. The last 6 meetings have been evenly contested with 2 wins each and 2 draws.
Athletic Club defeated Osasuna 2-1 in the previous match, registering their 4th win in 5 matches. The lone defeat during the time came at home against Real Madrid just before the international break. While Espanyol extended their unbeaten run to three matches by edging past Real Betis by a 2-1 margin at home. They picked up 3 wins and 2 draws from their last six matches, making them the fifth best team in terms of form during the period. However, Espanyol struggle at large in away games as in their last four matches with they have 2 wins and 2 losses. Moreover, they tasted victory just once in the last 8 outings with 3 draws and 4 losses.
Athletic Club started with an unusual formation of 4-2-3-1 whereas Espanyol started with a solid line with formation 4-4-2. In the first half of the game, Athletic Club started playing their aggressive game which led them to go beyond the defence of Espanyol. In the 17th-minute, athletic Club got their first chance to score the goal and they didn’t waste this opportunity as Aritz Aduriz took the cheeky penalty and sent the ball into the bottom left corner to give the team a lead of 1 and putting the oppositions under pressure. In the same half, Espanyol gave them a second chance to double their lead by tackling so hard on the right flank. This time Market Susaeta (captain) of Athletic Club took a brilliant free-kick from the right flank to give an assist to Aritz Aduriz to score the 2nd one of the night and double their lead. In the first half Athletic Club dominated Espanyol with a Ball possession of 62% to 38% with a total of 6 shots which had 4 on the target.
In the Starting of the second half, Espanyol made 2 changes in the midfield trying for some new strategy but they were able to control them with ease. Athletic Club tried their best to score but they failed as their goalkeeper Roberto gave some amazing saves. Athletic Club was good in the second half with a Ball possession of 59% to 41% with 7 shots which include 1 on the target and 7 on of the target. In the end, an additional of 1 minute was added as an injury time.
- Aritz Adruiz scored two brilliant goals to earn crucial 3 points for his team.
- With this win, Athletic Club remains on the 6th position on the league table with the total points of 50.