First Division - Day 25

Athletic Bilbao 1 - Betis 1

Athletic: Aranzubia; Javi González, Luis Prieto, Karanka, Del Horno; Orbaiz, Tiko; Etxeberría, Yeste (Jonan García 64'), Ezquerro; Urzaiz. 4-2-3-1.
Betis: Prats; Varela, Juanito, Rivas, Mingo; Ito, Benjamín; Joaquín (Arzu 91'), Capi, Denilson (Fernando 79'); Alfonso (Ismael 70'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Athletic: Del Horno, Orbaiz for Larrazábal, Gurpegui / Betis: Rivas, Capi for Lembo, Fernando.

0-1. 52. Benjamín. Bent shot wide of keeper from Joaquín's square cross.
1-1. 57. Ezquerro. Header down across Prats from Del Horno long cross.

Athletic Bilbao held on to fifth spot, but lost ground on Barcelona after drawing 1-1 with Betis. The game got off to a lively start when Urzaiz volleyed wide in the first minute, and Benjamín shot just wide later in the half after Capi laid the ball back. The anecdote of the half came when Yeste was booked for returning to the field of play without the permission of referee Carmona Méndez, even though he appeared to wave him on to the pitch moments earlier.

Both goals came early in the second half, with the visitors taking the lead after Joaquín got free down the right and crossed in for Benjamín to bend a shot into the top corner of the net. Ezquerro equalised five minutes later though, steering a header down past Aranzubia from Del Horno's centre, and Prats had to save from Yeste soon afterwards to keep the scores level.

Ezquerro came close to scoring again when he got to a long ball seconds before Prats, the ball hitting the outstretched hands of the keeper as he came out of his area. Both players fell in a heap, Athletic claiming a double foul for the hand ball and the tackle of the forward, but Carmona decided it was all accidental and waved play on. With the game coming to an end, Rivas cleared off the line from Etxeberria with the keeper beaten to save Betis's unbeaten record, which now extends to eight games. The Andalucians ended the weekend in seventh place, only a point outside of the UEFA cup positions.