Athletic Bilbao edge five-goal Basque derby


Madrid (AFP) – Athletic Bilbao moved to within three points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid with a 3-2 win over local rivals Real Sociedad in a pulsating Basque derby on Sunday.

Sociedad took the lead against the run of play when David Zurutuza volleyed home Xabi Prieto’s corner on 17 minutes.

Athletic laid siege to the Sociedad goal, only to be denied by the outstanding form of Argentine international goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli before the break.

Iker Muniain finally levelled with a brilliant effort from outside the box that curled in off the far post to leave Rulli helpless six minutes into the second-half.

Sociedad then caused their own downfall as twice they were caught in possession deep inside their own half as Aritz Aduriz chipped home Athletic’s second before teeing up Inaki Williams for the third.

Inigo Martinez’s fine header from a narrow angle gave the visitors hope seven minutes from time, but Athletic held on for their first win over Sociedad since 2012.

Athletic moved to within a point of Barcelona in fifth.

The top four were all victorious on Saturday as Atletico, Real Madrid and Barca thrashed Granada, Real Betis and Deportivo la Coruna respectively, whilst Sevilla sneaked past Leganes 3-2.

Earlier on Sunday, Roberto Rosales’s stunning long-range effort five minutes from time salvaged a 1-1 draw for Malaga at Alaves.

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