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Athletic late show denies Granada

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By David Redshaw

Thursday 12 April 2012

Granada surrendered a two-goal lead to Athletic Bilbao at Los Carmenes after the visitors scored twice in the last 10 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw.

Jaime got Abel Resino’s men off to a flyer with a goal after just two minutes when he drilled home from inside the area following a Gorka Iraizoz save from Fran Rico. However, Jaime was shown a straight red card six minutes before the break for a bad challenge on Andoni Iraola.

The dismissal handed the visitors the chance to level the score from the penalty spot, but Llorente blasted the spot-kick over the bar, and he was left to rue the miss on 73 minutes when Alex Geijo ran on unmarked from midfield to put the hosts two goals in front following a quick free-kick.

Llorente made amends for his earlier miss nine minutes from time when he got behind the defence to head home an Irai Gomez cross, and Markel Susaeta completed the comeback two minutes later by firing home after a Llorente header had been pushed out by goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Resino thought Granada deserved to have won the game, particularly after playing over half of it with a numerical disadvantage, and criticised referee Undiano Mallenco.

“We did not get our reward after such a great performance,” lamented Resino. “Undiano is one of the best referees around but he did not have his best day and made some strange decisions. From the bench I did not see any contact when he gave the penalty, but we can all get things wrong and today it was the referee’s turn.”

Marcelo Bielsa, on the other hand, considered his Bilbao team deserved a draw and could even have gone on to win the game.

“Apart from the goal we defended well in the first half, although we didn’t create enough chances and lacked quality up front,” said the Argentine. “After the break we allowed them to play on the counter-attack and they got a second goal, but in the final 15 minutes we deserved the draw and could even have won the match.”

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