Athletic should have won by more, and De Marcos cleared off the line in the 89th minute
Athletic Club defeated Elche CF 1-0 at San Mamés on Sunday afternoon with Iker Muniain scoring the winning goal.
The lions could have, and deserved to, score by more goals in a match which was conditioned by the wet and wintery weather in Bilbao.
The rojiblancos were superior throughout, much more decisive and intense than the visiting side. Apart from his defensive intervention, De Marcos was a constant thorn in the side down the right flank and set up Muniain for his goal.
The strike came in the 24th minute, Iñaki Williams linked up well with De Marcos who ran into box before cutting it back from the byline, and Muniain finished with a close-range volley.
Ten minutes later, Williams could have doubled the lions lead. The striker made space for himself with a run through the middle of the pitch, but Elche’s Edgar Badia was well placed to deny the striker.
In the second half, Athletic kept creating chances. Forward Raúl García had a goal ruled out after Alex Berenguer was offside in the build-up play. Muniain was at his creative best in the whole behind the forwards. Time and again the playmaker was finding Williams with precise through balls.
With 20 minutes left of play, Williams once again went close. This time smashing the crossbar with a curling effort from inside the box.
Yuri Berchiche found himself with time and space in the box on a couple of occasions towards the end of the match, but failed to make his chances count.
Elche almost grabbed an unlikely equaliser, but fortunately De Marcos was there to save the day.
Athletic face FC Barcelona on Wednesday at 21:00 CET, let’s see if the lions can string together back-to-back wins.