Athletic Club take on Levante UD at San Mamés this Sunday at 14:00 (CET). It will be the 31st official match between the two sides. Over the years, the two teams have had many memorable clashes, but perhaps none more so than the first.
Their first encounter is best remembered for one of the best goalscoring performances in Athletic Club’s history. It took place on May 4, 1947 in the home-leg of a Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie, with the Valencian club visiting San Mamés for the first time.
Levante started well and by the 22nd minute the visitors were 0-2 up, leaving Athletic with a mountain to climb. That was when striker José Luis López Panizo rose to the occasion, putting in one of the finest performances ever witnessed in the iconic red-and-white strip.
The club legend, who would retire with 169 goals in 417 games across 17 seasons, scored six times for Athletic against Levante in that Copa match. Panizo turned into a living nightmare for the Valencian outfit. They watched on as the forward single-handedly destroyed any hopes they had of knocking the lions out of the tournament.
The Sestao native scored four goals before the half-time whistle blew -in the 24th, 31st, 37th and 41st minute- the first coming from the penalty spot. In the final period of the fixture, Panizo killed off the game with two more goals. His fifth, in the 73rd minute, was also a penalty and the last goal came in the 81st minute.
It was an incredible achievement, which was only bettered once in the history of Athletic in the Copa del Rey. Just two weeks later, another club legend, Piru Gainza, scored eight times against Celta Vigo at San Mamés, as Athletic beat the Galicians 12-1 in the quarter-finals.
Highlights I Levante UD 1-1 Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
A game of two penalties, as both sides get a point
Marcelino: “A victory for us would’ve been fair”
Marcelino bemoaned the defensive mistakes that led to Levante’s goal
Athletic held to frustrating draw by Levante
Despite constantly threatening, Athletic only pick up one point from a match where both goals came from the penalty spot
Confirmed line-ups: Levante UD vs Athletic Club
The XI’s for tonight’s LaLiga match at the Ciutat de Valéncia
Global TV Guide: Levante UD vs Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
When and where to watch Athletic’s upcoming LaLiga match against Levante UD
Marcelino: “We’re focused on winning tomorrow”
Marcelino looks ahead to Friday night’s LaLiga Santander match against Levante UD
Squad list: Levante UD vs Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
Marcelino has called up 23 players for Friday night’s clash with Levante UD at the Ciutat de València
A big week against Levante
Athletic will face Levante twice in six days, starting with a LaLiga fixture on Friday (21:00 CET)
Raúl García: “The more difficult the challenge, the better”
After extending his contract with Athletic Club until 2022, Raúl García expressed his intention to keep going “as long as he was up to the task of competing for this Club”
Raúl García signs contract extension until 2022
The agreement includes an option for a further season depending on a number of targets.