First Division - Day 16

Betis 0 - Athletic Bilbao 1

Betis: Casto; Nelson (José Marí 62'), Melli, Juanito, Fernando Vega; Juande (Xisco 46'), Arzu, Rivera; Damià, Sergio García, Juanma (Pavone 46'). 4-3-3.
Athletic: Gorka Iraizoz; Murillo (Etxeita 20'), Aitor Ocio, Amorebieta, Mikel Balenziaga; David López (Susaeta 11'), Orbaiz, Javi Martínez, Yeste (Gabilondo 80'); Ion Vélez, Llorente. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Betis: Melli, Juande, Rivera for Mehmet Aurelio, Emaná, Capi / Athletic: Murillo, Orbaiz for Iraola, Susaeta.

0-1. 43. Javi Martínez. Headed ball back past Casto from Susaeta's cross.

Yellow cards: David López 05', Amoebieta 53', Iraizoz 84'.

Athletic Bilbao are gradually climbing away from the danger zone, and they moved above Betis to twelfth after a 0-1 victory over the Andalusians in the last match of 2008 before the short winter break. The locals were missing their two midfield engines, Mehmet Aurelio and Emanà, both suspended, but the Basque side had their problems as well when David López and Murillo both limped off with less than twenty minutes on the clock.

The first real chance of the match didn't fall until the half hour mark, when Sergio García shot wide. A few minutes later though Javi Martínez headed in Susaeta's cross for what was to be the only goal of the game. Xisco headed wide and Pavone had a shot blocked after the restart, and Ion Vélez and Etxeita could have scored at the other end. But Athletic had their first away win of the season, and they can rest easy over Christmas having picked up ten points from their last four matches.