First Division - Day 22

Athletic Bilbao 1 - Deportivo La Coruña 1

Bilbao: Lafuente; Felipe, Aitor Ocio, Larrainzar, Del Horno; Carlos Garcia, Orbaiz; Cuéllar (Tiko 60'), Julen Guerrero (Urrutia 75'), Ezquerro; Joseba Etxeberria (Urzaiz 46'). 4-2-3-1.
Deportivo: Molina; Héctor, Donato, Djorovic (César 70'), Romero; Mauro Silva, Sergio, Víctor, Valerón (Djalminha 60'), Amavisca; Makaay (Diego Tristán 75'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Bilbao: Felipe, Aitor Ocio, Larrainzar, Del Horno, Cuéllar, Ezquerro for Murillo, Lacruz, Javi González, Alkiza, Yeste, Urzaiz / Deportivo: Mauro Silva, Valerón, Amavisca, Makaay for Duscher, Fran, Pandiani, Diego Tristán.

0-1. 64. Djalminha. Took return pass from Makaay and hit low shot wide of keeper.
1-1. 66. Ezquerro. Ran on to loose ball to beat Molina with shot from left of area.

Two of the cup semi-finalists Athletic Bilbao and Deportivo La Coruña shared the points in the San Mames stadium in a match where both sides had their thoughts more on their midweek engagements than on the game in hand. Heynckes put out a side packed with reserves in view of their difficult second leg tie at Real Madrid next Thursday, leaving Urzaiz, Tiko and Alkiza on the bench and only including two or three of his first choice players. Irureta though could put out a full strength line up having won their first leg in Figueres last week, and his side had the better of the play in a dull first half in which only an early effort from Sergio troubled either keeper.

Heynckes replaced Etxeberria with Urzaiz at the break and a little later brought on Tiko to try and introduce some new ideas. However it was Deportivo's substitute Djalminha who made the first breakthrough, taking Makaay's return pass to beat Lafuente for his first goal of the season. The lead only lasted two minutes though before Ezquerro equalised after Carlos García stole the ball back off an inattentive Héctor. Romero almost caught Lafuente off guard with a centre-come-shot and Carlos García headed just wide at the other end, but both sides finally settled for a point. Depor improve their away record slightly with only their second point outside of the Riazor stadium in eight games but they still stay third, behind local rivals Celta on goal average. Athletic drop a place to sixth, and hopefully can get back to thinking about the league once Thursday's game is out of the way.