Athletic Club scored a last-gasp leveller to grab a 1-1 draw with Valencia CF, a result that sees los che lose ground on Atlético Madrid in third place. The away side had struck first after 61 minutes courtesy of a goal from Rodrigo De Paul, but Aritz Aduriz’s late strike saw the spoils shared.
In the first half, both teams enjoyed spells of dominance. In the initial stages it was the guests that took control of the play, and in the 24th minute they carved out their first dangerous attack on Gorka Iraizoz‘s goal. Paco Alcácer shot from the edge of the area, but the Navarre-born keeper kept the effort out. Bit by bit, Ernesto Valverde’s men began to neutralise their opponents and create threatening moments, particularly shortly before the break. After 43’, their clearest opportunity arrived when Ibai Gómez delivered a corner to the near post and Carlos Gurpegi headed on towards Iñaki Williams, but the forward could not connect with the ball.
The second period began as the first had ended. Athletic came out intent on taking the lead, and within two minutes Diego Alves denied Mikel San José to save Valencia from conceding. Just when the pressure from the Basques was at its greatest, los valencianistas went ahead after putting together fine combination play for Rodrigo De Paul to finish and celebrate his first goal in the Liga BBVA. An extraordinary piece of control with his heel by Álvaro Negredo was the prelude to another chance for Valencia, Rodrigo Moreno’s attempt going wide.
Rodrigo again came close but was thwarted by a great save from Iraizoz, before Valencia were reduced to ten men late on when Nicolás Otamendi was sent off. And with the game inside the final minute of the regulation 90, Aduriz snatched the equaliser for Athletic following a scramble in the six-yard box.© LaLiga - Year 2015