Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Bilbao reign got off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Real Valladolid at the Jose Zorrilla.
The Basques opened the game brightly with Markel Susaeta almost giving them the lead when he pulled a shot wide of the near post, but on 28 minutes the same player did hit the target when he found the bottom corner from Benat Etxebarria’s cross.
However, the lead lasted just three minutes as Patrick Ebert latched on to Oscar’s square ball to drill a low shot past Gorka Iraizoz.
Nonetheless, Bilbao got their noses back in front five minutes after the break, Iker Muniain following up to bundle the ball home after Marc Valiente had turned Andoni Iraola’s cross against his own post.
The hosts’ best chance of a reply came from Athletic defender Mikel Balenziaga, who almost turned the ball into his own goal from close range, while at the other end Kike Sola was denied a debut goal by Valladolid ‘keeper Diego Marino and Ander Herrera struck a post late on.
Real Valladolid: Marino; Rukavina, Rueda, Valiente, Pena (Bergdich 85); Rubio, Sastre; Ebert, Oscar (Osorio 75), Ramos (Rama 58); Javi Guerra.
Athletic: Iraizoz; Iraola, Gurpegui, Ekiza (Laporte 36), Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Benat; Susaeta (De Marcos 84), Herrera (Moran 85), Muniain; Sola.
Goals: Susaeta 28 (ATH), Ebert 31 (VAL), Muniain 50 (ATH)
Referee: Ayza Gamez