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First Division - Day 38

Almería 0 - Athletic Bilbao 0

Almería: Esteban; Rafita, Trujillo, Torsiglieri, Dubarbier; Fran Vélez (Azeez 05’); Aleix Vidal, Verza, Corona (Soriano 78’), Oscar Díaz (Rodri 71’); Jonathan Zongo. 4-1-4-1.
Athletic: Herrerín; De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte (San José 68’), Balenziaga (Iraola 68’); Erik Morán, Beñat; Susaeta, Mikel Rico (Ander Herrera 58’), Muniain; Guillermo. 4-2-3-1.

Goals: None.

Yellow cards: Erik Morán 16’, Beñat 31’, Balenziaga 34’, Laporte 55’, Azeez 73’, Ander Herrera 91’.

Almería looked doomed only a month ago, but a run of three victories in a row had taken them clear of the drop zone, and (with a better head-to-head record against most of their rivals), only a strange combination of results would have seen them down. As it was though they were never really in danger, and they played out a relatively relaxed 0-0 draw against an Athletic Bilbao side who had already done their homework a couple of weeks ago to tie up fourth place in the league. There were some nerves early on however as Guillermo, Mikel Rico and Laporte all went close for the visitors, and Torsiglieri was lucky not to be penalized when he handled the ball in the area after the interval. Rodri could have wrapped things up later on, Herrerín saving his first shot, and his second bouncing just wide of the post, but there was still a late scare when Guillermo got free, only for Esteban to close him down quickly. Nothing to be too concerned about though, and Francisco’s side have achieved their objective of staying up after being promoted last summer.