First Division - Day 13

Athletic Bilbao 0 - Villarreal 0

Bilbao: Lafuente; Oscar Vales, Lacruz, Larrainzar (Carlos García 65'), Javi González; Orbaiz, Alkiza; Joseba Etxeberria, Tiko, Yeste (Ezquerro 75'), Urzaiz (David Karanka 85'). 4-2-3-1.
Villarreal: López Vallejo; Galván, Quique Alvarez, Unai, Arruabarrena; Galca, Cagna; Jorge López (Guayre 70'), Víctor (Berruet 90'), Calleja (Xavi Gracia 65'); Palermo. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Bilbao: Joseba Etxeberria, Yeste for Del Horno, Ezquerro / Villarreal: No change.

Goals: None.

Athletic Bilbao's poor home form continued as they dropped another two points in a scoreless draw against Villarreal. Having won their last two games to rise up to the 'European spots' in the league they came in to the match full of confidence, but despite playing for most of the 90 minutes in their opponents half they were unable to capitalize on any of their chances. Heynckes brought back the out-of-favour Etxeberria, Yeste returned from playing for the under 21 side and the versatile Javi González, normally a right winger, switched over to left back, a position which he covered very efficiently.

The visitors struck the first blow though, with Lafuente making a shaky start in front of Víctor and Calleja. Bilbao eventually settled down, with Urzaiz heading just wide and López Valleja saving from Etxeberria and a Tiko free kick. Villarreal's only reply after the break was a 40 yard effort from Víctor, and Heynckes brought on fresh legs as his team's assault on goal continued. However last week's hero David Karanka reacted too slowly this time when Urzaiz set him up near the end allowing the defender to get in his tackle, and they had to be content with a point which keeps them in sixth place. Villarreal are a couple of points behind them in ninth spot, and Víctor Muñoz was thankful that his opponents have still not found their shooting boots in their own stadium.