Athletic draw prevents Girona from returning to top spot in La Liga

Published November 29, 2023
ATHLETIC Bilbao’s Inaki Williams (C) scores during the La Liga match against Girona at the Montilivi Stadium.—AFP
ATHLETIC Bilbao’s Inaki Williams (C) scores during the La Liga match against Girona at the Montilivi Stadium.—AFP

MADRID: Surprise package Girona failed to return to the top of La Liga on Monday after they were held 1-1 draw at home by Athletic Bilbao.

Winger Viktor Tsygankov put the hosts ahead 10 minutes after half time but Inaki Williams scored 12 minutes later to claim a point for the away side.

Girona trail league leaders Real Madrid on goal difference after dropping points for just the third time this season, while Athletic climbed to fifth spot.

Athletic had the better of the first half and their best chance fell to Gorka Guruzeta but the striker poked his shot straight at Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.

Girona had early chances of their own including an Aleix Garcia volley, which he skied over the crossbar, but did not find the rhythm they have found so often this season.

After the break, the hosts broke the deadlock when Tsygankov rifled home.

Williams, who started on the opposite wing from his brother Nico, equalised from a counter-attacking move that started in Athletic’s own box.

The wide man finished smoothly for his sixth league goal of the season as the Basques went looking for their third straight win.

With 10 minutes left Inaki Williams came close to finding the winner as he cut in from the left but his shot was parried by Gazzaniga.

Inaki Williams was replaced in the final minute of normal time for youngster Adu Ares, but both sides were forced to settle for a point.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real are four points clear of fourth-placed Barcelona, who drew 1-1 at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2023

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