Langreo 0-2 Bilbao Athletic: An Emotional Win Away From Lezama
Gaizka Garitano’s promotion to the first team back in December has proved to be the perfect decision. The same can’t be said for Bilbao Athletic. CD Basconia’s Aritz Solabarrieta was promoted to manage the Katxorros and hasn’t been able to bring the same level of success as Garitano. That being said, Bilbao Athletic are still alive in the battle for the top four.
The Kumeak traveled to Langreo on Thursday looking for their first win away from home under Solabarrieta. Bilbao Athletic went into the game trailing 4th place by 7 points, making a victory absolutely necessary if they want to have a chance of qualifying for the promotional playoffs. The team knew exactly how important this match would be and showed up in a big way.
It was a tight match to start, but Bilbao Athletic quickly asserted themselves by controlling the pace of play and rhythm. It wouldn’t take long for Gorka Guruzeta to put the Katxorros ahead. Langreo failed to clear the ball and Victor San Bartolomé found the forward in the box who calmly beat the keeper to give the Kumeak an early and deserved 1-0 lead.
Langreo refused to back down and started looking for the equalizer. The home side nearly did just that when Javi Sánchez struck the crossbar from a free kick in the 42nd minute. Langreo wouldn’t get another promising chance and faced more pressure from Bilbao Athletic to start the second half.
After the break it was clear that Bilbao Athletic needed a second goal for insurance. Several times this season they’ve seen leads vanish in the final minutes and weren’t comfortable as Langreo looked to steal a result in front of their own fans. It would take until the 81st minute, but the goal finally came for the Katxorros when Antonio Salado finished off an assist from Asier Benito.
The goal gave Bilbao Athletic a 2-0 lead and Aritz Solabarrieta went to the corner to celebrate with his team. It was an emotional moment and the manager was shown a red card for doing so. Solabarrieta didn’t seem to care. He had won his first game on the road and Bilbao Athletic are now just 5 points off of 4th place with 4 games left to be played. The Katxorros will host Sporting on 28 April at Lezama.