1-0, MIN. 14, IBORRA
Sevilla 1-0 Athletic Bilbao: Iborra strike keeps title race alive with narrow Bilbao victory

Sevilla 1-0 Athletic Bilbao: Iborra strike keeps title race alive with narrow Bilbao victory

Vicente Iborra gave Sevilla a narrow 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Danial_Kennedy
Danial Kennedy
SEVILLA RICO, MARIANO, RAMI, MERCADO, ESCUDERO, NASRI, KRANEVITTER, IBORRA, VIETTO (MONTOYA, MIN. 78), JOVETIC (BEN YEDDER, MIN. 78), CORREA (VAZQUEZ, MIN. 63)
ATHLETIC BILBAO IRAIZOZ, BOVEDA (SUSAETA, MIN. 69), LOPEZ, ETXEITA, SABORIT, SAN JOSE, BENAT (ITURRASPE, MIN. 61), MARTINEZ, GARCIA, MUNIAN (MOLINA, MIN. 84), WILLIAMS
REFEREEDANIEL OCON ARRAIZ BOOKED JOVETIC (MIN. 37) MARIANO (MIN. 69) SUSAETA (MIN. 70) MERCADO (MIN. 75) NASRI (MIN. 84) CORREA (MIN. 90) ETXEITA (MIN. 90+1) KRANEVITTER (MIN. 90+2)

Sevilla managed to keep their La Liga title hopes alive on Thursday, with a first-half strike from Vicente Iborra giving them a narrow 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.  

It was a good start from the home side, with a good chance from Stevan Jovetic and Joaquin Correa, before they were awarded a penalty which was subsequently turned in by Iborra on the rebound in the 13th minute. Bilbao then had their own great opportunity with Raul Garcia hitting the post, but couldn’t add to the scoreline.

The second period certainly didn't have the same spark about it, with half opportunities from Mariano, Garcia and Luciano Vietto but Sevilla managed to hold out for a crucial three points.

 

Starting off well

The week had proven tense in the title race in La Liga, with an opportunity to make up ground on Real Madrid after their 3-3 draw with Las Palmas and Jorge Sampaoli’s side started brightly.

Their first opportunity came just five minutes in, when Mariano played a ball into the area. It found Jovetic in the centre of the box but the former Manchester City forward’s headed effort was just over the crossbar.

Another great chance arose three minutes later, when the ball was played through and the deflected effort saw Gorka Iraizoz produce an excellent one-handed save. It deflected back to Correa, but the effort was deflected behind.

Second bite of the cherry

Sevilla had been knocking on the door from early on, and were handed a great opportunity in the 13th minute when they were handed a spot kick. Luciano Vietto did well to cut inside before been cut down, and Daniel Ocon Arraiz had no hesitations in pointing to the spot.

Jovetic stood up to take the spot kick which was initially saved, but Iborra was alive to the situation to fire home rebound between the legs of Iraizoz.

Sevilla continued to press as they looked to double their lead, but the visitors came very close to get themselves back into the clash before the half hour mark. The game carried on despite a heavy challenge with a ball played into the area, it arrived on the head of Garcia as he floated a header back across goal but it came back off the far post.

 

Looking to make that difference

Both sides certainly didn’t have the same exuberance that was seen in the first, but there was still some great opportunities from both sides in the opening proceedings to change the scoreline.

Mariano had been causing problems throughout and was at it again just before the hour mark, as the full-back managed to wriggle his way to the Bilbao byline. The effort was a mix between a cross and a shot but it was turned away from danger.

Garcia came very close in the first period to getting an equaliser as he rattled the woodwork, and he came close once again in the 60th minute. He decided to try one from distance with the swerve looking to take towards the top corner, but Sergio Rico did well to turn it away.

Sevilla had one more glorious opportunity in the 64th minute, and Sampaoli will have been furious that his side didn’t take it. A free-kick was cleared just to the edge of the area, with the ball eventually making its way back to Vietto who was unmarked but he somehow turned it wide of the mark.

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