Athletic Bilbao recovered from their disappointing mid-week Europa League loss against Marseille, by comfortably beating CD Leganes 2-0 at the San Mames.
Bilbao had the first opportunity to score after nine minutes, through winger Inaki Williams, who was played one-on-one by Inigo Cordoba, but the Spaniard’s cross-goal shot was well saved by Ivan Cuellar.
A minute later though, Athletic Bilbao were ahead. A whipped cross from Oscar De Marcos was contested between Cuellar and Raul Garcia. The Leganes ‘keeper found himself in No Man’s Land, and Raul Garcia headed the ball into the back of the net.
Seven minutes later, Bilbao doubled their lead, again through Raul Garcia and again De Marcos was provider, with a lobbed cross which evaded everyone, except Raul Garcia at the far-post, whose initial shot was blocked, but the Leganes defence failed to clear the ball and Raul Garcia smashed a first-time shot past Cuellar’s near-post.
Benat came super-close from a free kick, which seemed to be creeping into Cuellar’s goal, but went inches wide.
Leganes had opportunities to reduce the gap, but Bilbao’s keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made a couple of stunning, reflex saves, including one from Nordin Amrabat’s attempted trivela, as well as Nabil El Zhar’s missed header, which should’ve at least been on target.
Leganes had Cuellar to thank, who was making some fantastic saves including another one from Benat’s volley from 15 yards out and another Benat free kick from the left-wing.
Leganes should’ve at least gotten one back from a corner which ran across the Bilbao goal, but was well defended by Inigo Martinez and then cleared by Raul Garcia.
This result sees Bilbao climb the table into 12th spot, whilst Leganes are in 15th. Bilbao host Marseille in the Europa League on Thursday, before travelling to Barcelona on Sunday, whilst Leganes host Sevilla on Sunday.