Apr 1, 2013 at 7pm UK at ​San Mames
Athletic Bilbao
1-0
Granada
Aduriz (67')
Susaeta (41'), Herrera (84')
Susaeta (80')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Lopez (89')

Live Commentary: Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Granada - as it happened

San Mames
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at San Mames as Athletic Bilbao record a 1-0 win against Granada.

Granada travelled to Athletic Bilbao on Monday knowing that three points would have eased their relegation fears.

Neither side could make the breakthrough in the first period, with chances remaining few and far between in a tight 45 minutes of football.

Bilbao eventually took the lead after 67 minutes, however, when Aritz Aduriz found the back of the net with a powerful header.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.31pmEvening all! The first of our two back-to-back live commentaries in La Liga comes from San Mames as Bilbao welcome Granada. A solid run of form has moved Bilbao clear of relegation trouble, but Granada remain very much in trouble with 10 matches of the season remaining. Victory this evening would go a long way to securing their status for another season.

6.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, both have won one of the last three with the other ending in a draw. As mentioned, Bilbao were 2-1 winners when the pair met at Granada earlier in the season, but Granada last won at San Mames in November 2011. The omens point to a close fixture this evening.

6.37pmIt does appear likely that Bilbao will remain in the division this season, but it is hard to be impressed by their campaign. For a side that took apart Manchester United in the Europa League last season, they had been tipped to push on in the league. However, that has simply not happened, while the Fernando Llorente saga has certainly unsettled the squad.

6.40pmBilbao’s home form this season has been fairly impressive with six wins from their 14 matches, taking 20 points in the process. But they have been disappointing on the road with just three wins from 14 matches, which does seem strange based on their counter-attacking ability. It just has not happened this season for the Basque outfit.

6.43pmTEAMS:

BILBAO: Iraizoz; Iraola, San Jose, Ekiza, Laporte; Gurpegi, Susaeta, Herrera; Aduriz, De Marcos, Ibai

GRANADA: Tono; Angulo, Nyom, Mainz, Lopez; Ortiz, Nolito, Rico; Brahimi, Ighalo, El-Arabi


6.46pmSo there we have it. Bilbao once more leave Iker Muniain on the bench with Oscar De Marcos and Ibai Gomez providing the support to Aduriz. Ander Herrera also starts. Granada, meanwhile, hand a rare start to Juanma Ortiz, but there is no place for Borja Gomez who starts on the bench.

6.49pmGranada are far from safe in the division. A successful run of form around the turn of the year moved them clear of the drop zone, but they have taken just five points from their last six matches, a run of form that has left them in 16th position in the table, just four points clear of the relegation zone.

6.52pmGranada’s away form has been impressive, however, with four wins from their 14 matches, taking 14 points in the process. That is just one victory fewer than Malaga and the same as Champions League hopefuls Valencia. It has been their home form that has contributed to their struggles with just three wins from 14 matches, the second-worst total in the division.

6.55pmLet’s take a look at some statistics ahead of the match. Bilbao have conceded 51 goals in their 28 matches thus far, the third-worst record in the league, while Granada have conceded just 39 times. Down the other end, Bilbao have fared better with 32 goals, but Granada have struggled in the final third with just 26 strikes in 28 matches.


6.58pmHere we go then. Both teams join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Bilbao have hardly set San Mames alight in recent months, but I think they will have too much for Granada this evening. Narrow home win for me.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news this evening. Aduriz continues in the lone forward role for Bilbao, with Muniain and Fernando Llorente once more taking their places on the bench. Granada, meanwhile, recall Juanma Ortiz to their starting side. Right, the home side get the action underway.

2 minNot a full house inside the stadium this evening, but there is certainly a good atmosphere. Early half-chance for the home side as Brahimi collects possession on the right before striking an effort towards goal, but it was always moving wide of the post. You just get the feeling that the first goal could be decisive this evening.

4 minFirst attacking piece of play from the home side as Ander Herrera combines with Susaeta before floating a pass beyond the Granada defence, but Tono comes out to collect. A similar opportunity arrives moments later, this time for Susaeta, but Mainz is back to make the challenge. Lively opening four minutes of football in San Mames.

6 minSlightly sloppy period of the match in the last minute or two with both sides guilty of making late challenges in the opposing half. You have to think that Bilbao are safe from the threat of relegation this season, but Granada are still very much in the mix. No real chances for either side thus far, but I would be astounded if there were not a few goals this evening.

8 minIt's really bright work from Nyom as the Granada defender drives down the right before floating a low cross into the box, but Ekiza is across to make the challenge. The resulting corner is fired into the area by Nolito, but the referee blows for a free kick, much to the relief of the home supporters. Lovely sunshine in Bilbao this evening, perfect weather for a game of football.

10 minGood period of possession for the away side in the last couple of moments with the likes of Ortiz, Nolito and Mikel Rico seeing plenty of the ball, but they just cannot find that elusive pass in the final third. A sharp period of football follows from Bilbao, but once more it breaks down. No real chances in the opening 10 minutes at San Mames.

12 minIbai Gomez is the target for Herrera as the Spaniard floats a cross behind the Granada defence, but once more it skids off the turf before moving straight into the arms of the Granada goalkeeper. Tono finds Rico with a quick throw, who in turn whips a deep cross into the box, but Ekiza just does enough to clear the danger.

14 minQuick word on Diego Buonanotte, who once more starts on the Granada bench this evening. The Argentine joined the club from Malaga as one of the brightest players in the division, but has spent much of the past few months on the sidelines. It did seem a strange decision at the time and even more so now. He will probably come on and score the winner now I have mentioned it.

16 minHalf-chance for the home side as Ibai Gomez collects possession out wide before thumping an effort towards the bottom corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. First real sign of attacking intent from Bilbao. Gomez has been the most involved of their forward players in the opening 16 minutes. Still goalless at San Mames.


18 minNeither side has really taken control of proceedings this evening as each continues to exchange spells of possession. Granada attempt to force the issue with a couple of corners in quick succession, but the first is palmed over by Iraizoz before Angulo heads the second over the crossbar. Bilbao attempt to counter, but Herrera is sloppy with his pass.

21 minReally untidy period of the match in the last few minutes with both sides guilty of sloppy passing in possession of the ball. Meanwhile, the referee and his officials have been called into action to make a number of decisions. It is not difficult to see why both of these teams have struggled to find the back of the net. There is just no real potency.

23 minThe home side want a penalty as Inigo Lopez appears to handle in the penalty area, but the referee is not interested. Replays have failed to really clear up the issue, it was one of those that could have gone either way. Granada advance down the other end before Nolito whips a fine cross into the box, but Laporte is on hand to head behind for a corner.

25 minIbai Gomez is once more the threat for the home side as he combines with De Marcos on the left before finding Herrera on the edge of the box, the midfielder takes one touch before striking an effort on goal, but it is straight at the goalkeeper. Susaeta has a header moments later, but once more Tono makes the save.

27 minJust a few signs that Bilbao are starting to get to grips with this match as De Marcos combines with Ekiza down the left before firing a low cross into the penalty area, but Aduriz just cannot make contact with Mainz across to make the challenge. Not too much for the away supporters to get excited about as we approach the 30-minute mark.

29 minCHANCE! Clearest opportunity of the match by some distance as Nolito meets a cross from Angulo, but his header thumps off the crossbar. In fact, that is a wonderful save from Iraizoz, who managed to get the slightest touch on the effort. That is the closest either team has come to opening the scoring.

31 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Ibai Gomez splits the Granada defence with a fine pass, but Aduriz just cannot take it in his stride, with Tono out to make the clearance. Susaeta dances past two players before finding a cross moments later, but Brahimi is across to make the challenge at the vital moment.

33 minIt's bright work from Nolito once more as the Granada midfielder combines with Rico before advancing to the edge of the Bilbao box, but he just runs into traffic when he might have found Angulo in the right-back position. Little over 10 minutes of normal time remaining in the first period, with the two sides level at 0-0.

36 minAgain it's good work from Angulo as the Granada defender drives down the left before firing a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but San Jose is on hand to make the clearance. The match has just become ever so stale in the last few minutes with neither side offering too much in the final third. Hardly a vintage evening of Spanish football, but there is time for that to change.

38 minNolito has a half-chance as he strikes a free kick from distance, but it is wide of the post. If it were a boxing match, then I would have Granada just about winning on points. A half-chance comes down the other end as De Marcos fires a dangerous cross towards Aduriz, but the striker is denied by Tono.


41 minEl-Arabi is on free kick duty for the away side this time as he strikes an effort from distance, but it is straight at the goalkeeper. Iraizoz attempts to start a counter attack for his side, with De Marcos eventually firing a cross towards Ibai Gomez, but the linesman had his flag raised.

43 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of poor passing in the final third. Granada once more threaten in a wide area as El-Arabi finds a cross into the box, but once more San Jose wins the header. Nolito embarks on a mazy run moments later, but he can only run into a sea of red and white shirts.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Bilbao 0-0 Granada

End-to-end football in the last couple of moments as both sides begin to open up, but neither can find that elusive pass in the final third. The first yellow card of the match arrives as Susaeta is booked for a late challenge on Mainz. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half.


7.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. In truth, it has been just about as poor as you would imagine from two sides at the top level. Both have created a couple of opportunities, but neither goalkeeper has been too stretched thus far.

7.51pmSTATISTICS: Bilbao have dominated the possession thus far with 59% of the ball, while they have had five attempts to Granada's four. The clearest opportunity has fallen to the away side with Nolito meeting a cross from close range, but the Bilbao goalkeeper was on hand to make a fine save.

7.55pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a host of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Llorente, Muniain and Isma Lopez. Meanwhile, Granada have the likes of Borja Gomez, Aranda and Buonanotte in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

7.59pmAs it stands Bilbao would remain in 14th position in the table with 33 points, while Granada would sit 16th, just five points clear of the bottom three. One thing is for certain, there will be many twists and turns at the bottom of the league as the season reaches its latter stages.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side, which is perhaps not too surprising at this stage of the match. Just a reminder that following this clash we have action from Real Betis against Getafe. Right, the away side get the half underway.

48 minPositive start to the half from the home side as Ibai Gomez picks up possession on the left before darting into the Granada box, but Mainz comes across to make the challenge. The home supporters have also found their voices this evening, which will certainly help the players. You just get the feeling that one goal could be enough to pick up the three points.

50 minSloppy play from Laporte as the French defender fouls Mikel Rico just outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick is whipped into the penalty area by Angulo, but Ekiza is on hand to head behind his own crossbar. Unfortunately, there is a really laboured tempo to the match with 50 minutes on the clock.


53 minHalf-chance for the home side as Herrera strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. In truth, neither team has offered any suggestion that they are capable of finding the back of the net. That said, both sets of supporters are certainly creating a good atmosphere inside the stadium.

55 minI would love to be able to say that we have had a host of chances in the last couple of minutes, but that has simply not been the case. Herrera remains the main threat for the home side as he once more finds Ibai Gomez with a searching pass, but Mainz is across to clear the danger. Not too much to report in the opening 10 minutes of the second period.

57 minIt must be said that Nyom has had another impressive evening thus far. He has certainly been one of the best right-backs in the division this season. Half-chance for the home side as Aduriz meets a cross from Ibai Gomez, but he can only find the arms of Tono. Better from the home side.

59 minJust a few signs that the crowd are starting to lose patience with the players as the passes continue to miss the desired target. Meanwhile, the referee has been called into action to deal with a number of late challenges. Still just the one yellow card in the match, but it could have been a lot more. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

62 minThe pitch is not helping the players at the moment with each pass zipping off the surface. The attacking intent is coming from the home side as they continue to attack down each wing, but the overall quality of the final ball has been very poor. Still no movement on either bench, although I expect that to change in the next five minutes or so.

64 minCHANCE! Just about as clear a chance as Bilbao have had all evening as Ibai Gomez meets a loose ball in the penalty area, but he can only fire his effort wide of the post. You just have to take those kind of opportunities in this type of match. Still we await the first goal with 64 minutes on the clock.

66 minHalf-chance for the away side moments later as El-Arabi meets a cross from Angulo, but his effort is straight at the Bilbao goalkeeper. Thankfully the match has just started to open up in the last few moments. I think it would be fair to state that one goal would probably win the match. Still no movement on either bench, which is surprising.

67 minBilbao are certainly in control of the possession as we approach the final 20 minutes, but once more there is no real potency in the final third. Ibai Gomez remains a threat on the left, but he has been starved of service. Aduriz does have the ball in the back of the net moments later, but the offside flag is raised.

67 minGOAL! Bilbao 1-0 Granada (Aduriz)

68 minFinally Bilbao make the breakthrough with 67 minutes on the clock as Aduriz meets a cross from Ibai Gomez before thumping his header into the back of the net. That is his 17th goal of the season. Can Granada respond?


70 minGranada make a change as Nyom is replaced by Buonanotte, while Bilbao also make a change of their own as Ibai Gomez is replaced by Muniain. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining, as it stands, Bilbao would just about quell any relegation fears with the three points.

72 minDecent response from Granada as Ighalo darts into the penalty area before releasing a powerful effort on goal, but De Marcos is on hand to make the challenge. The resulting corner is met by Inigo Lopez, but he can only turn wide of the post. Much better tempo to the match.

75 minThe referee has been called into action to deal with a number of challenges in the last few moments, which Bilbao will not mind with their lead in tact. Aduriz is once more involved as he darts beyond the Granada defence, but the offside flag is raised. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining, with the home side leading 1-0.

77 minGranada continue to force the issue with a series of crosses into the penalty area, but San Jose and Ekiza have been dominant in the air. Muniain attempts to break following good work from Aduriz, but Mainz comes across to make the challenge. A defeat here would put Granada in real trouble ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

79 minIraizoz has been called into action to deal with a number of crosses in the last few minutes, but he has been equal to the danger on each occasion. Once more he attempts to start a counter attack with Munian down the left, but his pass for Aduriz is just too powerful. As it stands, Granada are heading for their sixth match without a win. In truth, they do not look like scoring.

82 minBilbao make their second change of the match as Llorente replaces Aduriz. Just a reminder that the former will join Juventus in the summer on a free transfer. Once more he is whistled onto the pitch by the home supporters. I suspect a goal would change their minds.

83 minRED CARD! The home side are reduced to 10 men as Susaeta receives his second yellow card for a poor challenge on Nolito. What on earth is he doing?! Granada have been handed a lifeline here that is for certain.

85 minDecent possession for the home side in the last couple of moments as they continue to keep the ball in the final third. Llorente threatens with a run behind the Granada defence, but once more the flag is raised. We are entering last chance saloon for Granada. Unfortunately, they look completely short of ideas in the final third.

88 minEnd-to-end football in the last couple of minutes with both teams prepared to commit players to each attack. Angulo is once more the threat for the away side as he bursts down the left before releasing a powerful cross into the box, but Ekiza is across to make the challenge. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining.

90 minIt is a case of 'anywhere will do' for Bilbao as they continue to clear their lines. Herrera has an effort from distance moments later, but it fizzes wide of the post. Final change for the home side as Toquero replaces Muniain. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes of added time.


90 min+3POST! Wonderful chance for the away side to secure a point as Brahimi releases an effort from distance, but it smashes off the post. Bilbao are just about a minute away from making it three wins from their last four matches. Little over one minute of football remaining at San Mames.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Bilbao 1-0 Granada

8.52pmSo there we have it. Aduriz's header is enough to hand all three points to the home side, while Granada remain in relegation trouble. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for Betis against Getafe. Until then!

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