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The Lions devour Betis

Athletic Club thrashed Real Betis 4-0 at San Mamés and are now in eighth in the LaLiga Santander. The lions completely dominated the fixture and were rarely troubled by the visitors. Athletic played well with the ball on the ground and upfront Asier Villalibre’s physicality and movement made him a nightmare for the Betis defence.

The biggest LaLiga win during Gaizka Garitano’s time as manager started early. In the eighth minute Villalibre broke into space inside the box and Victor Ruiz turned the Buffalo’s low cross past his own keeper. Five minutes later, Betis saw a potential equaliser ruled out by VAR as Ruiz was offside.

On the left wing Alex Berenguer was a real handful for full-back Emerson and came close to adding a second. The second came not long later, Williams’ cross was headed towards Claudio Bravo by Villalibre, but Ander Capa was alert enough to put away the resulting rebound. 

Berenguer was at it again and thought he had put Athletic 3-0 ahead only for his goal to be disallowed for a pull on Emerson in the build-up. The third could have come after, Villalibre and Williams connected inside the box, but Bravo saved the latter’s shot.

With Unai Vencedor and Mikel Vesga bossing the middle of the park, Athletic were even better after the restart. Yeray was unbeatable at the back and Berenguer put it on a plate for Villalibre but once again Bravo, the best Betis player on the pitch despite conceding four goals, was on hand to keep the numbers down. 

The levees finally broke and Athletic got the much-deserved third goal on the hour mark. Berenguer, Villalibre -who played a role in the first three goals- and Muniain connected brilliantly. Iker’s first shot was saved by Bravo but the captain made no mistake with the rebound.

The fourth and final goal was no less spectacular than the previous ones. In the 68th minute, Berenguer put away Yuri’s fantastic cross with an impeccable left-footed finish – it was his second goal since arriving from Torino. 

There was time for a fifth but Bravo was once again on damage limitation duties and prevented Capa from making it five. All in all, a complete performance by the lions.

Source: Athletic Club de Bilbao

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