Sunday October 2, 2011 (11.00 UK)
Martinez 61 – Llorente 34, 70
Estadio Anoeta, Basque Country
Two goals from Fernando Llorente gave Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao both their first win of the campaign and a victory in the first Basque derby of the season. Inigo Martinez had given the home side hope when he equalised with a wonderful goal from inside his own half, but Bilbao were too clinical.
Los Leones started brighter than Real Sociedad and created a number of chances through their quick forwards. Iker Muniain should have scored the opening goal when he burst through from midfield and found himself one on one with Claudio Bravo, but the keeper was equal to his shot. Athletic took the lead 10 minutes later after a quick break when Oscar de Marcos crossed early into Llorente’s feet, and his deft touch allowed him to turn Vadim Demidov and slot past Bravo to secure his second goal of the season.
Imanol Agirrexte could have equalised for Sociedad when he found space in the centre of the box, but he was unable to direct his header towards goal. It was a rare first half chance for the home side as Bilbao’s defence looked organised. Javi Martinez started to look much more comfortable in the centre of defence than he did when he first moved there.
The home side started the second half much more brightly, and put Bilbao under a long spell of continuous pressure. David Zurutuza went very close with a volley from 18 yards, but it was just too high to really trouble Gorka Iraizoz. Bilbao held strong though, surviving a couple of penalty shouts, until Martinez went off injured and disrupted their organised defence.
Sociedad got their equaliser through a wondrous shot by defender Inigo Martinez from inside his own half that caught Iraizoz off his line. Txuri-urdin could have taken the lead soon after, but Antoine Griezmann’s shot struck the post.
In the 70th minute, Bilbao made their Basque counterparts pay for not converting their chances and reclaimed the lead. Fernando Amorebieta’s precise cross found Llorente and the striker’s first -touch volley sailed past the helpless Bravo. The visitors continued to defend well into the final minutes and managed to take all three points in a Liga match for the first time this season.
Real Sociedad (4-2-3-1): Bravo; C Martinez, Demidov, I Martinez, Bella; Mariga, Illarramendi; Prieto, Zurutuza (Sarpong 78), Griezmann (J Llorente 82); Agirrexte
Unused subs: Aranburu, Zubikarai, Estrada, Gonzalez, Cadamuro,
Athletic Bilbao (4-2-3-1): Iraizoz; Iraola, J Martinez (Jose 61), Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe; Gurpegi, Marcos; Susaeta (Toquero 86), Muniain, Gabilondo (Iturraspe 60); F Llorente
Unused subs: Fernandez, Lopez, Gomez, Perez
Did you know… Real Sociedad have only beaten Athletic Bilbao once in their past six meetings (via @whoscored).