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Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Valladolid: Last minute sucker punch ends ‘dreadful’ 2018 for hosts

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Valladolid: Last minute sucker punch ends ‘dreadful’ 2018 for hosts

Athletic Bilbao had their hearts broken in the dying minutes by Real Valladolid at San Mames on Saturday evening.

The Basque hosts have had a drastic first half of the season and are now in real danger of being relegated for the first time in their history.

Just one place above the relegation places, Athletic have won just two games all season and if it was not for the similar poor form of Villarreal, they would be sat firmly in the bottom three.

The game started quite even but the home side did start to take over as the first half came to a close and it was veteran striker Aritz Aduriz who gave them a well deserved lead.

The Spanish striker took one-step from the penalty spot and tapped the ball past a helpless and rather embarrassed Jordi Masip in the Valladolid goal.

The second half saw a familiar pattern to that of Athletic’s games this season as they sat back and invited the visitors to attack them.

Obliging, Valladolid did just that and almost equalised after an hour when Oscar Plano hit the post from close range.

A mixed emotional San Mames were left twitching in the stands as their side held on but they were left with no early Christmas present as Plano would send the away bench into raptures late on.

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Failing to clear their lines, Athletic allowed Plano space in the box and he hammered the ball home to level the tie in the 92nd minute.

The final whistle quickly followed and it was clear to see that the Athletic players were distraught, heading into the winter break in desperate need of a turnaround in form.