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Spanish Primera BBVA

Manuel Ruiz de Lopera (ATT 37,000) 21st January 2013 - Kick off 20:30 Ref: M Ayza Gamez

Real Betis Real Betis vs Athletic Bilbao Ath Bilbao

Real Betis 1

Ruben Castro (pen 2)


Ath Bilbao 1

A Aduriz (41)

Draw keeps Betis fourth

Last Updated: 21/01/13 11:11pm

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Ruben Castro had given the hosts the lead

Ruben Castro had given the hosts the lead

Real Betis consolidated their advantage over Malaga in fourth place, but were thankful to goalkeeper Adrian for a string of late saves to salvage a point against Athletic Bilbao.

The hosts could not have wished for a better start as Ruben Castro put them in front from the penalty spot after just two minutes after Gorka Iraizoz brought down Salva Sevilla.

However, after Adrian produced his first impressive save of the night to turn behind a brilliant volley from Ander Herrera, Athletic levelled four minutes before half-time as Aritz Aduriz showed wonderful composure to scoop Ander's through-ball over the advancing keeper.

Both sides had chances to win it after the break with Jorge Molina the main culprit for the hosts, but it was Adrian who stole the show as he made late saves from Aduriz and Markel Susaeta to ensure his side did not fall to a sixth home defeat of the season.

Athletic started the match just three points above the relegation zone after wins for Granada and Osasuna over the weekend and Marcelo Bielsa's men looked set to be dragged even further into the relegation mix after a terrible opening 10 minutes.

Iraizoz was rightly adjudged to have clipped Sevilla just inside the area in Betis' first attack of the game and Castro gave the keeper no chance with the resulting penalty as he slotted away his 12th league goal of the season.

Castro then had another effort turned away by Iraizoz and Joel Campbell also fired over as Athletic struggled to contain the early Betis onslaught.

But slowly they started to gain a foothold in the game and would have had a spectacular equaliser midway through the half had Adrian not managed to get an outstretched hand to Ander's dipping volley from 25 yards.

The Athletic playmaker did have a hand in the goal when the equaliser arrived, though, as he slipped Aduriz in behind the Betis defence and the former Valencia striker joined Castro as the joint top Spanish goalscorer in the league with a lovely delicate finish from the edge of the area.

Molina then came close on two occasions just after the hour mark as he first volleyed Campbell's cross off-target before heading over a clearer opportunity from another ball in by the Costa Rican.

However, thereafter it was the visitors who dominated and they could count themselves unlucky not to return home with all three points.

Aymeric Laporte was first to threaten with a shot from inside the box that crept just wide before Aduriz was denied by a smart save from Adrian.

Ibai Gomez also fired off-target and Adrian again got down well to turn Susaeta's fierce drive behind as Betis clung on in the final few minutes to restore their three-point gap over Malaga in the race for the final Champions League place.

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Spanish Primera BBVA

Spanish Primera BBVA
Pos Team P Pts
1 Real Madrid 24 60
2 Barcelona 24 56
3 Atletico Madrid 24 53
4 Valencia 24 50
5 Sevilla 24 45
6 Villarreal 24 44
7 Malaga 24 38
8 Celta Vigo 24 31
9 Espanyol 24 29
10 Real Sociedad 24 27
11 Eibar 24 27
12 Athletic Bilbao 24 27
13 Getafe 24 26
14 Rayo Vallecano 24 26
15 Deportivo La Coruna 24 24
16 Almeria 24 23
17 Elche 24 23
18 Levante 24 22
19 Granada 24 19
20 Cordoba 24 18