Athletic Club face Valencia CF at Mestalla on Saturday (December 12, 14:00 CET) for their LaLiga matchday 13 fixture. Throughout LaLiga history, the lions have managed 13 wins, 22 draws and 50 losses on their travels to Valencia.
The historical head-to-head at Mestalla doesn’t make for pleasant reading. But the lions’ last three LaLiga victories at Mestalla were quite impressive and will still bring a smile to the face of any Athletic fan. The three matches followed completely different scripts, but they did have a couple of things in common – two or more goals for the lions and clean sheets.
In 2007-08, Athletic romped their way to a 0-3 win on the mediterranean coast. Fran Yeste, with a typically classy free-kick in the 32nd minute, was the first on the scoreboard. Striker Fernando Llorente scored a second-half brace to put the game, one goal a header and the other a simple tap-in after an injury-time goalkeeping mishap.
In 2015-16, Athletic won by the same scoreline in a different sort of match. The tie remained goalless until the 73rd minute, Sabin Merino making the breakthrough with a well-placed header from Mikel San José’s pinpoint cross.
Iker Muniain scored the second, slipping the ball under the keeper’s legs after being played through by central midfielder Mikel Rico. And Aritz Aduriz sealed the win when he outjumped the Valencian defence at a corner.
The lions picked up another well-deserved victory over Valencia last season (2019-20), defeating the home side 0-2 after LaLiga came back from its COVID-19 induced break. Raúl García had his shooting boots on and two goals at the beginning of each half saw Athletic triumph in a frenetic fixture.
Both goals were easy on the eye too. For the first one, the forward got on the end of Iñaki Williams’ low cross in the box. Raúl then completed his brace with a 47th-minute rocket. Finding himself in plenty of space on the edge of the area, the attacking midfielder shifted the ball onto his unfavoured left foot before letting rip and hitting it into the top-right corner of the net.
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.