Match Report: Bilbao 0-1 Real Sociedad

Matchday 25 – Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Real Sociedad – Match Report

Sunday 21st February 2016

47,603 Spectators

The Basque derby saw striker Jonathas scored his fourth goal in three matches to fire Real Sociedad to a 0 – 1 win at neighbours Athletic Bilbao.  In the 17th minute the Brazilian struck the only goal of the game with a tremendous finish from a clever Vela pass.  He is on an impressive run of form notching up four goals in his last three appearances.  This is representative of the form he showed last season at Elche, and he is finally beginning to justify his substantial transfer fee.

The match was a keenly contested affair and ended in twelve yellow cards being equally shared between the teams. Athletic were clearly feeling the affects of their Europa League match against Marseille on Thursday and Real pressed them hard in midfield to take advantage of this.

After falling behind Athletic kept searching for an equaliser until the final whistle.  But they were poor in the penalty box and rarely trouble Gero Rulli in the Real goal. La Reala comfortably kept the home team at bay, defending strongly in a very disciplined manner.  They probably deserved to finish with all three points, chalking up a fourth straight win that sees them climb into 9th position.

As well as the four wins in a row, Real have also managed to keep three consecutive clean sheets, which shows how much they have moved on since the disastrous 5-1 defeat away at Gijon only last month.

Interviewed after the match Eusebio Sacristán had encouraging words for his younger players  after their first experience of a derby at San Mamés.  He said: “Fantastic, particularly Aritz Elustondo and Mikel Oyarzabal who are the youngest; these kind of games can put a lot of responsibility on their shoulders but they showed that they can handle it – the work they did was incredible and they also showed personality. That’s good for the club – that home-grown players can succeed in these kind of games – derbies which they have experienced a lot in the lower categories and that has surely helped the in this one. It will help them to confront future derbies with more tranquillity”, the coach concluded.

The match statistics showed: Possession 55/45% in favour of Athletic, we managed 7 shots of which 4 were on target.  We won 3 corners and received 6 yellow cards: Illarra (13 minutes), Deigo Reyes (13 mins), Jonathas (19 mins), Vela (53 mins), Elustondo (87 mins) and Rulli (90 mins).

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