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Athletic Bilbao beats Real Sociedad 2-0 in Spain

Athletic Bilbao beats Real Sociedad 2-0 in Spain

Athletic Bilbao prepared for its Europa League clash with Manchester United by beating Real Sociedad 2-0 on Sunday thanks to a double from Markel Susaeta.
Bilbao's victory in the lively Basque derby extended its home unbeaten run to six games and provisionally lifted it into fourth place in the Spanish league.
Susaeta put Bilbao ahead in the 25th when he slipped the ball under goalkeeper Claudio Bravo after racing toward the near post.
The Bilbao forward almost grabbed another goal before halftime with a free kick that curled off the crossbar.
Sociedad pressed forward in a wide-open second half as the rain fell on San Mames stadium.
Two minutes after the restart, Carlos Vela appeared to have scrambled a loose ball across the line before goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz was able to clear. But the referee failed to award the visitors the leveler, and also disallowed a goal by Sociedad's Mikel Aranburu for offside with half an hour to play.
Susaeta was not to be denied in the 81st when he bent a superb free kick around the diving Bravo and in off the right upright to secure the win.
Bilbao rose two points clear of Levante, which plays Real Betis on Monday.
"This was a game every player dreams of," said Susaeta, who has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season. "We played well in the first half, but in the second half our pressure fell off and they gave us problems until the second goal."
The Basque team plays at Man United on Thursday for the first leg of their round-of-16 series.
Elsewhere, last-place Zaragoza scored two late goals to beat Villarreal 2-1.
Villarreal went ahead through Hernan Martinuccio's 16th-minute opener and outplayed the hosts in the first half.
But Zaragoza goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez kept his team alive until Luis Garcia blasted a volley into the top left corner of the net from outside the area to level in the 85th.
Midfielder Abraham Minero then charged through the center of Villarreal's defense to score four minutes into stoppage time and grab his team's first home win in eight weeks.
"In the second half we played without fear and won in a demonstration of character and faith," Zaragoza coach Manolo Jimenez said. "It was a complete victory because we fought for it."
The victory still leaves Zaragoza 10 points from safety.
At Los Carmenes stadium, Sofiane Feghouli's first-half goal gave Valencia a hard-fought 1-0 win over Granada for just its second victory in its last nine matches.
Nine Valencia players received yellow cards in a physical away match their team needed to win to maintain its hold on third place.
Leader Real Madrid hosts Espanyol later Sunday looking to restore its 10-point lead over Barcelona with a 10th straight league victory.
On Saturday, a 10-man Barcelona beat Sporting Gijon 3-1 to keep alive its faint hopes of repeating as Spanish champions for a fourth straight year.
Also, it was: Getafe 1, Malaga 3; Mallorca 1, Osasuna 1; Rayo Vallecano 4, Racing Santander 2 and Sevilla 1, Atletico Madrid 1.


Updated : 2021-02-27 03:43 GMT+08:00