Two new goals from the Navarrese player lift Athletic up to seventh, sweeping to Victory at Mestalla against Valencia
Terrific! Athletic’s best away performance of the season led to an emphatic win against Valencia at Mestalla (0-2), including a wonderful game and two goals from Raúl García, the second of which was sublime. This evening, the lions were way better than their direct rivals for a European place in all aspects and now they are sitting seventh. No one had won at Valencia’s ground until now this season. The lions have done it 430 days later.
Athletic arrived at Mestalla determined to return to the fight for a European spot with a bang. Having received a cross from Capa, Raúl García created our first scoring chance and, after a save from Simón to Guedes, everything ran smoothly, monopolising possession.
The hunger for winning resulted in an early goal, on 13 minutes. Muniain stole the ball from Kondogbia, William ran clear at an angle and sent a fine low cross to Raúl García. The Navarrese can miss one chance, but not two. Cool, calm and collected, he managed to beat Cillessen.
The lions decided to pass the ball about and it gave the impression they could score the 0-2 goal at any time despite not having great chances. However, it was Maxi Gómez who created a clear one, jumping forward to head a ball that went out in the end. It reminded us the game had not been won yet, there was still plenty of time to go.
At half-time, Garitano demanded his players to be bold and Athletic started the second half with plenty of energy. Córdoba stole a ball from Parejo and Raúl García sent a left-footed shot to the back of the net from distance, it was impossible for Valencia’s goalkeeper to stop it.
The forward’s 30th goal of the season was a perfect shot. The lions wanted it more and chased the third goal through Yuri and later via a great play from Capa that Raúl finished off as he could. From then on, there were a couple of unimportant scares from Maxi and Rodrigo, but everyone had the feeling Athletic were far better than their rivals, a side to whom they are now winning by goal average too.