|First Division - Day 17|
Albacete 1 - Athletic Bilbao 1
Oscar Montiel, Pablo, Buades, Peña; Iván Díaz, Viaud
(Parri 55'), Álvaro Rubio (David Sánchez 74'), Delporte; Pacheco,
Aranda (Mikel 82'). 4-4-2.
Team changes: Albacete: Aranda for Mikel / Athletic: Luis Prieto, Larrazábal for Del Horno, Orbaiz.
Athletic Bilbao drop out of the European spots to eighth place after they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Albacete. A 17,300 capacity crowd turned up to watch local striker Aranda put his side in front on his return to the team after an injury, the ex Real Madrid B forward picking up a ball from Pacheco and firing a long shot past Aranzubia.
Up to that point the Basques had not been in the match, but gradually they won control in midfield. A well organized defence limited them to long pots at goal though, until Urzaiz finally found a way through, picking out the unmarked Ezquerro with a chipped pass for him to volley the ball into the roof of the net.
The locals could have re-established the lead before the break though, Aranda shooting over when free in front of Aranzubia and the keeper saving well from Pacheco, referee Pérez Burrull waving away claims for a possible penalty on the forward in the play leading up to his shot at goal.
Either side could have won it in a lively second half, with Etxeberría hitting the bar with a cross-come-shot and Aranda having a goal disallowed for a dubious offside, and Aranzubia saving from Mikel's header near the end. But in the end a fair result, which leaves Albacete in a comfortable fourteenth place, five points clear of the relegation zone.