|First Division - Day 5|
Recreativo Huelva 1 - Athletic Bilbao 2
César; Yago, Loren, Alex, Espinola; Oscar Arpón, José
Mari (Cubillo 63'), Iker Begoña, Benítez (Viqueira 71'); Mario
Bermejo (Xisco 63'), Raúl Molina. 4-4-2.
Team changes: Recreativo: Yago for Galán / Athletic: Larrainzar, Tiko for Lacruz, Arriaga.
Athletic Bilbao recorded their first league victory of the season against fellow strugglers Recreativo Huelva in the only game played on Saturday night. Their win lifts them out of the relegation zone and takes the pressure off Jupp Heynckes, who has been criticised by fans recently after making indignant statements that his own presence as manager was a luxury for the team. The return of Etxeberría, Tiko and Yeste proved crucial to the side's recovery, last year's first choice midfield trio behind Urzaiz not having played together at all this season, and it was no coincidence that their reuniting heralded the side's return to form.
It took them some time to get going though, and for the first half of the match they barely managed a shot at goal. Recreativo were also looking for their first win, and urged on by the local fans they had the best two chances in the first half, with Raúl Molina sending a shot agonisingly close to the post early on and a long José Marí volley almost surprising Lafuente.
It was Etxeberría though who made the difference, finding a gap between two defenders on the right and drawing the keeper before laying the ball on a plate for Gurpegui to score the easiest of goals. Lucas Alcaraz brought on Cubillo and Xisco, and the young forward couldn't believe his luck ten minutes later when a wooden defence allowed him a free header, so much so that he placed the ball wide.
Then with five minutes to go Etxeberría sent Ezquerro away for him to roll the ball wide of the keeper and leave Tiko with an easy tap-in on the far post. Recre pulled one back though almost immediately, Xisco making up for his earlier miss getting on the end of Cubillo's pass to set up a nail-biting finish. It was not enough though, and Recreativo ended the day in last place with only one point from five games.