Athletic Club claimed all three points on Sunday evening with a 2-0 win over Real Betis at San Mames, despite finishing the game with ten men.
Iker Muniain’s 21st minute strike was enough to earn the Basques all three points with Oscar De Marcos’ late red card not affecting the result.
Oscar De Marcos got in behind down the right early on before cutting the ball back to Iker Muniain but the winger couldn’t direct his shot on target.
The pair linked up to greater effect however on 21 minutes as the hosts moved in front. Iñaki Williams played De Marcos in and this time his cut back was controlled and finished by Muniain.
He was involved again moments later when his shot deflected just wide, with the resultant corner not being cleared well and the lead almost being doubled as Pau Lopez stopped De Marcos’ ball across goal from reaching Williams.
Betis did come close to levelling the scores nine minutes before half time when Diego Lainez saw his shot tipped over by Iago Herrerin with Zou Feddal’s header from the corner clipping the top of the bar.
The second half was far from enthralling, with the first effort of note coming half an hour into the second period when Sergio Canales saw his free kick clawed away from goal by Herrerin.
Six minutes from time, Betis’ hopes of getting an equaliser were given a boost when Oscar De Marcos was sent off for the hosts.
Sidnei had the ball on the right but wasn’t causing any bother when De Marcos needlessly lunged into the defender giving the referee no option but to send him off.
Despite the red card, Betis struggled to create late on with their best chance falling the way of William Carvalho but his half volley from just inside the box was wayward and Athletic held on for the three points to climb to 11th.
Athletic Club: Herrerin; Capa, Yeray, Martinez, Yuri; Garcia, San Jose; De Marcos, Muniain (Gomez, 79), Cordoba (Balenziaga, 70); Williams (Guruzeta, 86)
Real Betis: Pau; Mandi, Feddal, Sidnei; Barragan (Tello, 59), Lo Celso, Carvalho, Canales, Francis; Loren (Leon, 76), Lainez (Guardado, 75)