Athletic Bilbao almost handed things back to Sevilla, but they eventually held out for a valuable three points on Sunday.
A competitive opening to the game was capped by Oscar de Marcos’ well-taken side-footed volley midway through the first half to open the scoring for the home side.
Neither side created much for the duration of the first half after that goal, until Markel Susaeta made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time. Just moments after flashing a header over the bar, the winger latched on to a long clearance up-field that Aritz Aduriz had managed to head on. His shot proved too hot for Palop to handle, as the rebound looped up, over the ‘keeper and into the net.
The second half threatened to be a less eventful affair, until Sevilla’s Baba Diawara tested Gorka Iraizoz with a couple of notable efforts, the second also requiring the Athletic ‘keeper to stop a follow-up goalbound effort from the rebound.
Athletic had to play out the final 15 with 10 men, as Ander Herrera picked up a second yellow card for a close-range handball in the middle of the park.
Minutes later, a second handball was spotted by the officials, this time by Andoni Iraola in the area from a cross, allowing for Alvaro Negredo to step up and pull back a goal for Sevilla from the penalty spot.
With less than 10 minutes to go, a slip from his marker allowed Negredo to meet a cross unmarked, but his effort was tame and straight at a grateful Iraizoz to scoop up.
Despite Sevilla’s prolonged possession at the end, it was Athletic that held out for the three points to make it two consecutive wins in the League for the first time since April.
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