Ernesto Valverde admitted Athletic Bilbao ‘suffered’ against Celta Vigo but praised them for digging deep to secure a 2-1 victory at Balaidos on Saturday.
Early goals from Aritz Aduriz and Mikel San Jose were enough for Los Leones to record a fourth win on the bounce and move within five points of seventh-placed Malaga in La Liga, despite Joaquin Larrivey pulling one back for the Galicians after an hour.
“We had to suffer [against Celta], but I’m satisfied [about our fourth consecutive victory],” the Coach told reporters.
“In the first half, we were very good. We scored two goals and had chances to score more, but we also expected Celta to press us, and so they did at the beginning of the second half.
“They pressed high up [the pitch], and we endured 15 bad minutes because when they started playing, they made us suffer.
“It was a game in which it wasn’t clear whether they’d equalise or we’d score a third [goal].
“There was some confusion, which could’ve us cost the game, but to win at Balaidos we knew we’d have to suffer and play very well.
“We’ve been stuck in the fight near the bottom and we know what it’s about, but we also have the ambition to look up [in the table].”