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Athletic win thriller against Girona

Athletic win thriller against Girona

Athletic win thriller against Girona

A brace from Berenguer and an Iñaki Williams strike see the Lions beat Míchel’s side 3-2

Athletic Club defeated Girona 3-2 on Monday night. A seventh home win in a row. Tremendous in terms of points and form.

Michel’s had only lost to leaders Real Madrid this season for good reason.

The superb Alex Berenguer netted a brace while Iñaki Williams scored his 10th of the season before the magic of San Mames helped the Lions hold on for a thrilling victory.

Dani Vivian was crucial too, the centre-back heading a Jon Solis shot off the line in the 93rd minute to preserve Athletic’s victory. The win means Los Leones are nine point clear of sixth-placed Real Sociedad and just two points off Atlético Madrid in fourth.

If the reverse fixture was a classic, the game in Bilbao disappointed no one. Each side played to their own style. Míchel’s Girona played out from the back knowing how hard Athletic would press and the Lions looked to steal possession and hit on the transition.

And that’s just how Berenguer got on the scoresheet in the first minute. The winger intercepted a pass on the edge of the area before dispatching a low left-footed shot passed the Paulo Gazzaniga.

Girona controlled possession, but Iñaki Williams had the clearest chances of the first half.

Aside from two Viktor Tsygankov efforts and another by Yangel Herrera, Athletic had the better opportunities.

Iñaki never gave up and was rewarded with a goal for his persistence. His faith is unshakeable. In the 23rd minute he hit the post after being played through by Beñat Prados.

Iñigo Lekue went off injured and his replacement, Oscar de Marcos, handled tricky winger Savio with ease. Girona went for broke after the break and equalised in the 48th minute, Tsygankov prodding an Ivan Martin cross into the net.

Athletic didn’t let their heads drop. In an incredible spell between the 57th and 60th minute, the Lions made it 3-1.

First, Gorka Guruzeta hounded Miguel Gutiérrez and sent in a low cross for Berenguer to finish. Inaki seemed to deliver the killer blow when he took control of a Yeray long ball and crashed a shot in off the post.

Iñaki almost made it four from a press and just when it looked like Girona were dead and out, they got back into the game when an Alex Garcia set-piece found Eric Garcia’s head.

It was given after a VAR review for a possible offside. From then on Athletic were made to suffer for the win. Artem Dovbyk went close and then Vivian cleared off the line.

All in all a fantastic win for Athletic.