May 7, 2021

Sociedad beats Bilbao in Basque derby

Real Sociedad

IMAGE: Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil reacts. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Real Sociedad ended a long barren spell without a win by beating Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao 1-0 away from home in La Liga, on Thursday, collecting their first victory in all competitions in 10 matches.

Forward Portu struck the only goal of the game in the fifth minute by tapping in a cross from his side’s top scorer Mikel Oyarzabal, who was making his first appearance since getting injured on Dec. 3.
The visitors looked far likelier to get a second goal than concede an equaliser to an unimaginative Athletic, who could not manage a single shot on target.

Sociedad’s Swedish forward Alexander Isak smashed a shot against the crossbar in the second half while Igor Zubeldia missed the target from close range when Athletic keeper Unai Simon spilled a stinging shot from Oyarzabal at his feet.

A first league victory since Nov. 22 took third-placed Sociedad on to 29 points from 17 games, six behind leaders Atletico Madrid who also have three matches in hand.

Athletic are 12th on 18 points.