BILBAO & VALENCIA SHARE POINTS AT SAN MAMES
Valencia missed the chance to move above Real Madrid after they drew 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao, but young star Ferran Torres shone brightly for his club.
Geoffrey Kondogbia curled a sweet left foot shot into the far left corner to open the scoring, his fourth league goal since joining on loan from Inter Milan.
However, the home side hit back just after the break when Valencia failed to deal with a set piece, allowing Oscar de Marcos to equalise.
Veteran Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz wasted an earlier chance to against score his former side from the spot, but saw his effort saved.
Is Ferran Torres next big talent?
Despite dropping 2 points, a draw at the San Mames will be seen as a point gained for Valencia. They have lost on their last 3 visits to the Basque club.
Ferran Torres showed everyone why he is one of Spain’s brightest young talents. Just a day shy of his 18th birthday, he calmly rolled the ball to Kondogbia for the opener.
As he received the ball on the right side of the 18-yard box, the defence retreated into the area. They could only watch as Ferran Torres rolled the ball to the edge of the box.
A Fourth for Kondogbia
Geoffrey Kondogbia continued his fine form at his new club by notching his 4th of the season. He has shown Inter Milan he can be a valuable player in seasons to come.
He missed the previous two games against Sociedad and Malaga through injury. However, he returned to the centre of midfield and dominated as he often does against top players.
Kondogbia could do nothing to prevent another ex-Inter player, Colombian Jeison Murillo, conceding the penalty that Aritz Aduriz had saved by Norberto Neto.
Usually reliable from the spot, Aduriz was denied as Neto leapt to his left to stop the shot.
De Marcos Levels the Game
Marcelino admitted in his pre-match press conference that his opponents were “tough to play” at the Sand Memes. The teams were level just 4 minutes into the second half.
Set piece specialist Benat sent a free-kick into the six yard box, seeing the ball cleared back. Wersatile De Marcos raced to reach it, firing into the bottom right with a first time strike.
What’s Up Next?
Valencia’s 3-game win streak comes to an end. Though they can go into their clash with free-scoring Real Betis unbeaten in 3. They are now 8 points ahead of Sevilla in fifth.
Bilbao face a trip to Sevilla at the intimidating Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan before travel to Marseille away in the first leg of their Europa last 16 clash.
They remain in 12th position with 32 points, while Valencia, who have exceeded expectations in Marcelino’s first season in charge, remain in fourth spot. Just one point behind Real Madrid.
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