Sep 26, 2013 at 7pm UK at ​San Mames
Athletic Bilbao
2-1
Real Betis
de Marcos (73'), San Jose (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Molina (62')
Paulao (23'), Torres (24'), Chica (45'), Jesus Chuli (70'), Amaya (91')

Live Commentary: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Real Betis - as it happened

Athletic Bilbao's Markel Susaeta celebrates his goal against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona on September 20, 2012
© AFP
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the La Liga clash at San Mames as Athletic Bilbao beat Real Betis 2-1.

Athletic Bilbao welcomed Real Betis to San Mames on Thursday looking to record their fourth La Liga win of the season.

Both sides had opportunities in the first period, but neither could make the breakthrough with the scores level at the interval.

Benat had the opportunity to send Bilbao ahead from the penalty spot in the early stages of the half, but he could not register against his former club.

Jorge Molina made no mistake from inside the box just past the hour mark, however, with his effort sending Betis into the lead.

The home side were level 20 minutes from time when Oscar de Marcos struck from close range, before Mikel San Jose won it with a powerful header after 82 minutes.

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! Week six in La Liga continues this evening as Athletic Bilbao welcome Real Betis to San Mames. The home side have won three of their five matches this season, but they were beaten last time out by Espanyol. Betis, meanwhile, appear to be on the up after struggling in the early part of the campaign.

6.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, it makes good reading for Betis. They have won three of the last five matches, with Bilbao winning once and the other ending in a draw. As mentioned, the corresponding fixture last season ended in a thumping 5-3 win for Betis, but Bilbao secured a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in January.

6.37pmTEAMS:

BILBAO: Iraizoz; Iraola, San Jose, Laporte, Gurpegi; Rico, Benat, Herrera; Susaeta, Aduriz, Ibai

REAL BETIS: Sara; Chica, Amaya, Paulao, Nacho; Matilla, Torres, Juanfran, Chuli, Salva; Molina


6.40pmSo there we have it. Much-changed Bilbao XI this evening with Ibai Gomez, Ander Herrera and Markel Susaeta coming into the side. However, Iturraspe, Oscar de Marcos and Iker Muniain drop to the bench. Betis, meanwhile, leave Verdu and Cedrick on the bench, with Jorge Molina leading the line with support from Salva Sevilla and Chuli.

6.43pmThere is no question that there is a different feel around Bilbao this season. For a team that so comfortably took apart Manchester United in the Europa League the season before last, it proved to be a highly disappointing campaign for the Basque outfit last term. It has been a summer of change, however, with former Valencia boss Ernesto Valverde replacing Marcelo Bielsa at the helm and a number of players seeking pastures new.

6.46pmThey began their season with a 2-1 win at Real Valladolid, before they made it six points from six with a 2-0 win over Osasuna. They were defeated at Real Madrid on September 1, but recovered with a 3-2 win over Celta Vigo on September 16. They enter this match off the back of a defeat, however, having lost 3-2 to Espanyol last time out.

6.49pmBetis, meanwhile, have won just one of their five matches in La Liga this season, but they do appear to have turned the corner. They opened their campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid, before suffering the same scoreline at home to Celta Vigo. They put their first point on the board with a 0-0 draw with Espanyol, before picking up their first win with a 3-1 success over Valencia.

6.52pmThey enter the match off the back of another goalless draw with Granada last time out, with their problems in front of goal a concern. Much of Betis’ success last season came on the road with seven wins from their 19 matches, a total that was only bettered by the top four. However, they have found it tougher this time around.

6.55pmBilbao’s home form last season, however, will certainly hand Betis confidence. The Basque outfit managed just 27 points from their 19 matches, which would have left them in 14th position if home success was all that counted. This is the type of match that Betis would have won last season, which makes this a fascinating encounter.

6.58pmPREDICTION: This fixture is one of the most fascinating encounters in the early part of the season. Bilbao are a much-improved outfit this term, but it has taken Betis a bit of time to adapt to the new campaign. They were impressive on the road last season, however, and I think they have enough to secure a share of the spoils. I am backing a 1-1 draw at San Mames.

0 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just a reminder of the main team news - Herrera, Susaeta and Ibai Gomez all start for Bilbao, while Betis include young attacker Chuli. Right, the home side get the action underway.

2 minIt must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening, with the home supporters turning up in their numbers. Almost an early opportunity for Aduriz as the Bilbao striker collects a pass from Benat before driving into the box, but the offside flag had been raised. Betis are down the other end moments later with Molina, but Laporte comes across to clear.

4 minIt's good work from Chuli as the Betis youngster earns the first corner of the match from San Jose, but Benat's delivery is straight into the arms of Iraizoz. End-to-end opening four minutes of football with Ibai causing problems down the other end, but his cross evades Aduriz, who had pulled off Chica.

6 minCHANCE! It's wonderful work from Ibai as the Spaniard finds some space down the left before delivering a terrific cross to the far post, but Susaeta can only clip wide of the target from close range. Herrera picks up the pieces moments later, but his effort is high of the crossbar. High-tempo opening to this La Liga fixture at San Mames.

8 minHerrera has another half-chance moments later as he meets a low cross from Susaeta, but his effort does not struggle Sara. Sevilla is down the other end for Betis moments later, but the Spaniard cannot find the run of Molina, who is the more central of their attacking players this evening. Plenty of early suggestions that we will see goals this evening.

10 minThe opportunities continue to arrive as Benat meets a bouncing ball outside the box, but the Bilbao midfielder can only fire high of the crossbar. Not too many expected Betis to come here and shut up shop and indeed that has not been the case as they continue to look forward at every opportunity. The opening 10 minutes of this match have just flown past.

13 minBilbao are certainly in the driving seat at the moment with Susaeta and Ibai both causing problems with deep crosses into the box, but Paulao and Chica have been dominant in the air thus far. A half-chance arrives for Betis moments later as Chuli finds some space inside the Bilbao box, but his effort is straight at Iraizoz.

15 minAduriz again threatens for Bilbao as he collects a pass from Susaeta inside the Betis box, but the offside flag is raised, much to the frustration of the home supporters. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if we indeed have one - could be vital in this type of match. Still no goals with 15 minutes on the clock, but the high intensity remains.

17 minNeither side is really in control of the match at the moment with both guilty of losing possession too easily in the final third. Meanwhile, the ball has spent more time in the air than on the ground in the last few minutes. Molina is the target for Chuli moments later, but San Jose just manages to clear at the vital moment.

20 minCouple of opportunities for Benat to put some quality into the Betis box in the last couple of moments, but Sara has been alive to the threat thus far. With the way that Betis have set up this evening, it is a surprise that Cedrick is not starting. He caused Real Madrid all sorts of problems in the Bernabeu on the opening weekend of the season. On the flip side, it is good to see 22-year-old Chuli given his chance to impress.

22 minAnother half-chance for Chuli as the Betis striker creates some space inside the Bilbao box before attempting to curl one towards the top corner, but Iraizoz is across to make the save. Aduriz has a golden opportunity down the other end moments later, but he fires high and wide of the crossbar when he had time to pick his spot. End-to-end football at San Mames.

24 minIbai continues to look the most likely for the home side as he meets a low cross from Susaeta, but he cannot find the target. The atmosphere has just dropped inside the stadium in the last couple of moments, which is a reflection of the drop in intensity on the pitch. Betis continue to force free kicks outside the Bilbao box, but the overall quality has been poor thus far.

27 minXavi Torres is the latest name to enter the referee's book for fouling Benat in the middle of the park. The referee has been more involved than he would like in the last couple of moments with challenges arriving from both sides. Not too much to report in terms of opportunities, however, with both defences nice and compact as the first period continues to gather pace.

29 minHalf-chance for the home side as Benat collects possession outside the box before delivering a wonderful cross towards Aduriz, but Chica is on hand to head behind for a corner. The resulting set piece is whipped into the box by Ibai, it eventually falls to Herrera, but the Spaniard was in an offside position, much to the frustration of the home supporters.

32 minThe lineman's flag continues to frustrate the home side as Aduriz is once more caught in an offside position after good work from Benat in the middle of the park. Betis' threat has just dropped in the last 10 minutes or so, however, with Molina isolated in the final third. Without sounding like a broken record, surely Cedrick would be the ideal player for this type of match. Little under 15 minutes of the half remaining at San Mames.

34 minCHANCE! It's smart work from Matilla as the Betis midfielder cuts inside Benat before curling an effort towards the top corner, but Iraizoz manages to push it over the crossbar at the final moment. Stunning piece of goalkeeping from the Spaniard. You just get the feeling that there is something stewing here.

36 minBilbao want a penalty as Susaeta appears to fall under a challenge from Amaya inside the box, but the referee is not interested, which brings whistles from the home supporters. It was more of a coming together than a clear foul. If it were the referee from last night's Real Madrid match, then I suspect it would have been given.

38 minHalf-chance for Herrera this time as the Bilbao midfielder meets a cross from Susaeta, but he can only clip his header over the crossbar. The match is just starting to open up as we approach the latter stages of the first period. I backed a 1-1 score before the match and thus far, it has certainly been an even encounter between the two Spanish rivals.

41 minAnother opportunity for the home side as Ibai curls an effort from just inside the box, but it is fairly comfortable for Sara. Meanwhile, the referee continues to be called into action with both sides guilty of committing some untidy challenges in the opposing half. Little under five minutes of the first period remaining at San Mames.

43 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with both sides struggling to find that elusive pass in the final third. In fairness to the home supporters, they are attempting to raise their side, but it appears that both are preparing to enter the break on terms. It is no surprise that it has been a patchy affair thus far, but one goal would change the entire intensity.

45 minCROSSBAR! Good end to the half for the home side with Laporte's searching cross finding the head of Aduriz, but his header is over the crossbar, much to the relief of Chica, who had lost his man. Moments later, Ibai drives into the Betis box, but rattles the crossbar with his effort.

45 min+1CROSSBAR! Oh my good grief Ibai has done it again. Stunning free kick from the Spaniard, but it thumps against the crossbar before Paulao hooks clear. Twice within the space of a minute. What an end to the half.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Bilbao 0-0 Betis

7.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the half to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Both have had their opportunities in what has been an open 45 minutes of football, but Bilbao could and perhaps should have taken the lead with a couple of efforts that smashed the crossbar in the final few moments of the half.

7.53pmSTATISTICS: Bilbao have had more of the possession with 62%, while they have had eight attempts to Betis' three. However, both sides have managed two attempts on target. A tight half of football had been expected and that has indeed been the case thus far between two well-matched teams.

7.58pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Oscar de Marcos, Toquero and Muniain. Meanwhile, Betis have the likes of Joan Verdu, Igiebor and Cedrick in reserve. It would not be a surprise to see all three feature in the second period.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Just a reminder that following this match we have action from Villarreal against Espanyol, be sure to remain with us for that. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. Betis get the action underway.

48 minBright start to the second period from Ibai as the Bilbao winger collects possession on the left before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but Aduriz can only lift his effort over the crossbar from just inside the area. Betis attempt to break with Molina moments later, but his through pass is gathered by San Jose.

50 minAgain Ibai threatens for Bilbao as the Spaniard collects a long pass from Herrera before driving into the box, but Nacho just manages to clear at the vital moment. You just get the feeling that we could see changes around the hour mark if the score remains level. It has been a open five minutes to the second period.

53 minBetis do indeed make an early change as Sevilla is replaced by Reyes. It has not quite happened for the former this evening. Betis just cannot get the ball at the moment, however, with the home side stretching the play at every opportunity. Benat has been the best player on the park this evening as he continues to pick out incredible passes in the final third.

55 minAnother half-chance for Aduriz as the Bilbao striker meets a cross from Ibai, but he had to generate all his own power, with Sara comfortable in watching it move over the goalkeeper. Iraola threatens to find Susaeta moments later, but Torres is back to clear. One-way traffic at the moment with Bilbao forcing the issue.

57 minCHANCE! Betis are under some serious pressure at the moment as Ibai strikes another wonderful effort from the edge of the box, but Sara is down to make the save. Betis respond with a change as Verdu enters the field to replace Matilla. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining at San Mames with the scores still 0-0.

58 minPENALTY TO BILBAO!

58 minBilbao are awarded a penalty as Torres fells Susaeta inside the box. The Betis midfielder is not happy with the decision, but he certainly caught the right foot of the Spaniard. Benat will take.

59 minSAVE! Benat misses against his former club as Sara gets down low to make the save. Poor penalty from a player of his quality. Hardly time to take a breath at the moment with Betis immediately down the other end with Chuli.

62 minOne-way traffic as Bilbao continue to force the issue with their fifth corner of the match. Betis simply cannot get out of their own half at the moment with the home supporters in wonderful voice. Wouldn't it be just like football if Betis went down the other end and scored? Do not rule it out. Little under 30 minutes of football remaining.

62 minCHANCE! Oh my word how many chances do Bilbao need. This time it is Susaeta who thumps a curling effort from the edge of the box, but Sara is across to make a stunning save. The Betis stopper has been simply sensational this evening.

62 minGOAL! Bilbao 0-1 Betis (Molina)

63 minWhat was I saying? Betis take the lead against the run of play as Molina tucks into the back of the net at the second time of asking after Iraizoz had denied him from close range. This stadium has been silenced. Bilbao could and should have been out of sight in the second period.

65 minIf Bilbao do not win this football match, then it will be one of the stories of the season there is no question about that. Bilbao have utterly dominated the second period thus far. Another half-chance comes to the home side moments later, but Torres's effort is straight at the goalkeeper from outside the box.

68 minBetis stopper Sara has made six top-class saves this evening. If Betis are to pick up all three points, they will have their goalkeeper to thank. Bilbao will have something to say about that, however, as they continue to force the issue with Benat and Susaeta pushing forward at every opportunity. It would not be a surprise to see Muniain introduced as we approach the final 20 minutes at San Mames.

70 minChuli becomes the latest player to enter the book following a late challenge on Gurpegi. Bilbao threaten moments later as Susaeta attempts to dance into the box, but the Spaniard lose control at the vital moment. It appears that Bilbao are ready to make a change with De Marcos preparing to join the action. Who will be withdrawn?

72 minBilbao want another penalty as Herrera falls inside the box, but the referee is not interested. Verdu attempts to dance into the Bilbao box down the other end moments later, but San Jose manages to make the challenge. Bilbao do indeed make the change as De Marcos replaces Herrera for the final 20 minutes or so.

73 minGOAL! Bilbao 1-1 Betis (De Marcos)

74 minBilbao level as Benat's delivery is headed into the back of the net by De Marcos. It had been coming. Moments before, Betis make their third change of the match as Cedrick replaces Chuli, who has had an impressive night at San Mames. Muniain also enters the field for Aduriz with 15 minutes remaining.

76 minI backed a 1-1 draw before the match, but I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals this evening. Bilbao are the side in the ascendancy and in truth, have been for the entire second period. Surely there will be more opportunities as the play starts to open up. The home supporters are creating an electric atmosphere inside the stadium.

79 minThe new surface has been a problem for some of the players this evening as the slipping and sliding continues. Bilbao remain the team on the front foot as they continue to put dangerous balls into the box, but Betis manage to hold on. Little over 10 minutes remaining of what has been a stunning La Liga encounter.

81 minIf Betis manage to take a point from San Mames then they will consider it a good result based on how this match has unfolded. The first period was quite tight with both sides offering a threat in the final third, but the second half has been dominated by the home side. Still plenty of time for someone to make themselves a hero in the final 10 minutes or so.

82 minIt's really bright work from Muniain as the Spaniard collects possession outside the box before attempting to find the run of Ibai, but it just moves away from the Spaniard at the final moment. Ibai is again involved moments later, but his low cross is blocked by Paulao. One-way traffic with the home supporters in fine voice.

82 minGOAL! Bilbao 2-1 Betis (San Jose)

83 minBilbao take the lead with 82 minutes on the clock as San Jose rises in the box before thumping a powerful header into the back of the net following fine work from Ibai, who has been the star of the show. It is tough on Betis, but Bilbao deserve this.

85 minThe way this match has gone, it would not be a surprise if Betis managed to secure a point in the final five minutes or so. An opportunity arrives for the away side as Chica is felled inside his own half. The defender whips it high into the Bilbao box, but the danger is cleared by San Jose, some few minutes for him.

88 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Betis to equalise as Molina breaks the offside trap before advancing into the box, but he just clips his effort wide of the post. What an opportunity. Bilbao make their third and final change moments later with Iturraspe replacing Ibai, who has been stunning.

90 min+1Bilbao continue to keep the possession, which is frustrating the Betis players, forcing them to give away a number of free kicks, which is playing into the home side's hands. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time and we are indeed into the first of those.

90 min+3Half-chance for Benat to put the result beyond Betis as the midfielder collects possession outside the box before attempting to curl one towards the top corner, but Paulao is across to make the block. The resulting corner is taken short as Bilbao attempt to run down the clock.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Bilbao 2-1 Betis

8.50pmSo there we have it. Bilbao come from behind to pick up all three points against Betis. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for Villarreal against Espanyol. Until then!

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leganes11001013
2Valencia11001013
3Athletic Bilbao00000000
4Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Barcelona00000000
6Celta Vigo00000000
7Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
8EibarEibar00000000
9Espanyol00000000
10Getafe00000000
11GironaGirona00000000
12Levante00000000
13Malaga00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Villarreal00000000
19AlavesAlaves100101-10
20Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
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