|First Division - Day 30|
Alavés 2 - Athletic Bilbao 3
Geli (Lombardi 80'), Coloccini, Téllez, Llorens; Astudillo, Pablo
(Karmona 68'); Jordi Cruyff (Mara 46'), Magno, Ibon Begoña; Rubén
Team changes: Alavés: Téllez, Ibon Begoña for Karmona, Turiel / Bilbao: Oscar Vales, Alkiza, Urzaiz for Orbaiz, Yeste, Ezquerro.
Athletic Bilbao stay just behind Celta in sixth place after coming from two goals down to beat Basque neighbours Alavés 2-3. It was an extraordinary match, with referee Daudén Ibáñez sending off three Alavés players and awarding a hotly disputed penalty to the visitors. The Vitoria based side started well, with Jordi Cruyff scoring twice in the first quarter of an hour of the game, the first after Astudillo won the ball off a sleepy Larrazábal down near the touchline, and the second running in to head past Lafuente with two defenders watching on. Bilbao were dumbstruck, having had the better chances up to that point, and they almost pulled a goal back when Llorens fired a clearance straight at Etxeberria and the ball rebounded on to the post. But then Magno was sent off rather harshly for elbowing Lacruz five minutes before half time, and Tiko scored with a direct free kick two minutes later. It was the youngsters eleventh goal of the season in all competitions and his fourth from a free kick, and before half time he had picked out the head of Urzaiz to make it all square. There was still time though before the break for Rubén Navarro to pick up a second booking and leave his side with nine for the second half.
Mané brought on Mara for Cruyff at the break, but his team were now on the back foot and Kike was forced to save from Urzaiz and Etxeberria to keep the scores level. But then Daudén Ibáñez invented a penalty out of nothing, ruling that Téllez had held on to Urzaiz as a corner came in from the left. It appeared to be six of one and half a dozen of the other, but Daudén remained steadfast and produced a yellow card for the defender, who had to leave the field as it was his second. Penalty specialist Larrazábal made no mistake with his kick, giving his side another three points which takes them firmly up in to the UEFA spots in sixth place. Alavés ended the day six points behind their rivals in eighth place, and with Pablo also picking up his fifteenth yellow card of the season, they are likely to be missing four key players for their next game at Espanyol. Needless to say Daudén was not a popular man when he left the pitch under a police escort.