Athetlic Bilbao continued their La Liga recovery with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Deportivo Alaves at the San Mames.
It was the Basque club who had the first opportunity of the game after seven minutes after Saborit crossed the ball into the box from the left hand side, the Alaves defensive header was fluffed and instead found Inaki Williams, whose shot was powerful, but straight at Pacheco and behind for a corner, and from that corner, Bilbao were ahead thanks to some good fortune.
Susaeta’s set piece was met by Xabier Etxeita, who got a good enough contact from around the penalty spot and the ball went over the Alaves keeper and just over the line, before Aymeric Laporte could bundle it in.
Ten minutes later, Bilbao should’ve been two ahead through Raul Garcia, a cross from the right hand side found the Spanish midfielder who rose above everybody, but his effort was fairly comfortable for Alaves’s ‘keeper.
It was Los Leones dominating proceedings and they had another opportunity 20 minutes later, after some brilliant work from Williams, his cross found Bilbao’s veteran striker Aritz Aduriz whose volley was well saved by Pacheco, and that was the last meaningful opportunity of the first half in Bilbao.
In the second half, Alaves had their first sight of Bilbao’s goal, after substitute Bojan rolled a shot which was saved extremely comfortably by Herrerin. But, 15 minutes into the second half, Bilbao doubled their advantage from the penalty spot after Alexis was adjudged to have forcefully brought down Garcia off the ball. Needless to say, the penalty was converted by Aduriz.
Inaki Williams was looking as sharp and lively as ever, and should’ve made it 3-0. After dispossessing Alvaro Medran in the midfield, he played the ball through to Aduriz down the left wing, who played it back to Williams, but the Spaniard couldn’t find the back of the net.
This result sees Bilbao rising up the table in 8th place, whilst Alaves sit in 18th spot within the relegation area. Bilbao next face Espanyol whilst Alaves host Sevilla.