Bilbao ends Osasuna’s home streak

Athletic Bilbao won 2-1 at Osasuna in the Spanish league yesterday, ending the hosts’ club-record streak of 31 home games without a loss.

Striker Inaki Williams struck first for Bilbao in the 21st minute. Chimy Avila leveled in the 76th, only for Kenan Kodro to restore the visitors’ advantage three minutes later.

Bilbao’s first away win of the season lifted it into fifth place — five points behind leader Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Osasuna hadn’t lost at its El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona since a second-tier defeat to Tenerife on April 1, 2018. From that loss it went unbeaten in 24 second-division games and seven home games this season.

Also, China forward Wu Lei scored to salvage a 1-1 draw for Espanyol at home with Getafe.

On Saturday, with its world-class attack falling short against the worst team in the Spanish league, Barcelona turned to an under-used weapon to remain atop the standings.

Barcelona ground out a 2-1 victory at last-placed Leganes thanks to a pair of second-half goals by Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal — both from set-pieces.

Barcelona is known for its attractive passing-based attack and finely crafted buildups that can generate spectacular goals. But Leganes deployed two lines of well-coordinated defenders in front of its area and stifled almost all attempts by Barcelona to break through.

The defending champion eked out the goals — from a free kick and a corner that led to a defensive error — to ensure it stayed ahead of Real on goal difference.

“There were so many players in the middle of the field that we had to look to set-pieces,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “Today we clearly saw that we were going to need to score on a cross or an isolated play because linking up through the middle was impossible.”

Real overcame a gaffe by Sergio Ramos that cost a goal to beat Real Sociedad 3-1.

Gareth Bale was jeered by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd when he went on as a late substitute, as Real fans expressed their anger after his jibe at the club while helping Wales qualify for the European Championship this week.

The images of Bale dancing and laughing behind a banner in Cardiff on Tuesday that read “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In That Order,” were not well received in the Spanish capital.

Bale was booed every time he touched the ball, including before his cross was headed down by Karim Benzema for Luka Modric to put the result beyond doubt in the 74th.

“We need our fans behind us for 90 minutes, as well as Gareth,” coach Zinedine Zidane said in defense of his star.

Sociedad striker Willian Jose poached a poor back pass by Ramos and put it into the empty net two minutes after kickoff.

Real weathered a vibrant first half hour by Sociedad before Benzema chested in a corner kick from Modric to level in the 37th. Federico Valverde’s deflected shot put Real ahead at the start of the second half.

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