First Division - Day 24

Real Sociedad 1 - Athletic Bilbao 1

Real Sociedad: Westerveld; López Rekarte, Kvarme, Schürrer, Aranzábal; Xabi Alonso, Alkiza (Aramburu 67'); Karpin, Nihat (De Paula 87'), Gabilondo (Xavi Prieto 76'); Kovacevic. 4-2-3-1.
Athletic: Aranzubia; Javi González (Lacruz 62'), Luis Prieto, Karanka, Larrazábal; Gurpegui, Tiko; Etxeberría (Felipe 90'), Yeste, Ezquerro; Urzaiz (Orbaiz 57'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Real: Aranzábal for Potillón / Athletic: Aranzubia, Larrazábal, Tiko for Lafuente, Del Horno, Orbaiz.

0-1. 16. Yeste. Whipped ball past keeper after deflected Etxeberría cross fell to him.
1-1. 40. Nihat. Took return pass from Karpin and rolled shot past Aranzubia.

Local rivals Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao cancelled each other out in a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening. The home side had won five of their last six games, and seemed to be on the way to another victory when Kovacevic and Xabi Alonso both hit the woodwork in the opening seven minutes, the former with a header and the latter with a long shot. But Yeste put the visitors ahead a few minutes later with his fourth goal in consecutive games, the defence caught napping as Etxeberría's deflected cross fell kindly for the boy with the Mohican haircut.

Real got the equaliser they deserved though five minutes before the break when Karpin set up Nihat for him to roll a shot past Aranzubia, and when Athletic's Gurpegui got himself sent off for a second bookable offence early in the second half the Guizpuzcoans were back on top. Kovacevic was closed down when through on goal and the Serbian striker put a spectacular overhead kick over the bar.

But they were unable to take advantage against a well ordered defence, and Westerveld was almost caught out again when he stopped a long Yeste free kick on the line. In the end though both sides had to settle for a point which took the visitors level with fourth placed Barcelona pending their Sunday game and left Real six points behind them in midtable.