Athletic Bilbao, Eibar draw in La Liga clash
Gipuzkoa (Spain): Eibar and Athletic Bilbao battled to a 1-1 draw in their La Liga clash at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium.
Eibar had almost full dominance over Sunday’s Basque derby from the opening whistle and — if that were the only criterion — deserved a better result, reports Efe news agency.
Eibar is now in the 12th position in the league standings with 11 points while Bilbao is 17th with eight.
As expected, both teams played an intense game from the outset, but Eibar showed more drive in probing for its rival’s net, although it delivered no shots on target.
Bilbao struggled to overcome the hosts’ suffocating high pressure, but Williams had a chance – which came to nought – to get his team on the scoreboard on a header in the 10th minute.
Meanwhile, Eibar pursued its triangular-shaped play and reached the visiting side’s area on both sides, managing to create some dangerous chances.
The VAR system awarded a penalty kick to Eibar, which Charles Dias converted successfully giving the hosts an early 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
Afterwards, it seemed to be a completely different match, as Bilbao coach Eduardo Berizzo instructed his players to take more risks in order to draw level.
Bilbao’s striker Iñaki Williams rewarded his team’s efforts with the equalizer in the 21st minute, making the most of Raul Garcia’s assist.
Then, Eibar continued with its high pressure playing style, sending crosses from both sides and set pieces, but the tie continued till halftime.
After the break, the game was more evenly matched and Bilbao got more ball possession in the midfield, although no scoring chances developed.
Eibar had a double chance to regain the lead, but Bilbao goalkeeper Iago Herrerin proved his merit with outstanding saves.
Time ticked away with the hosts unable to make the most of their dominance, and the final result was that Bilbao managed to snatch a point from an Eibar that did not deserve a mere draw.