Athletic missed a golden opportunity to take fourth place, despite Paredes and Raúl García, in his 600th match, having chances to win the game.
Athletic Club were held to a 0-0 draw by Almeria on Monday night. The Lions had an extra man for the final half hour but failed to convert their superiority into goals.
However, they did have two very clear chances. Aitor Paredes forced a great save from Maximiano with a header, while Raúl García, making his 600th LaLiga apperance, could enhanced his legend when he crashed a header against the post in the 86th minute.
We have to settle for the point, we have no other choice. It brings Los Leones to within two points of Atlético Madrid in fourth place and things could have been worse if Marezi had not struck the crossbar towards the end.
That it was going to be a difficult night became evident early on as some sloppy play stopped Athletic from finding their rhythm in attack.
Mikel Vesga fired an early warning with a left-footed shot, but the Zurigorri did not have a clear chance until Paredes’ powerful header from a Unai Gómez corner. Maximiano stopped it with a spectacular save. Unai Simón remained untroubled except for a close-range effort by Choco Lozano.
Ernesto Valverde brought on Raúl García and Iker Muniain at the break and when Largie Ramazani received a second yellow for fouling De Marcos in the 53rd minute, it seemed Athletic would take things up a gear to win.
But Los Rojiblancos struggled to breakdown Gaizka Garitano’s side. Raúl almost capped off his 600th match with a stunning header and the Lions finished the match thanking their lucky stars when Marezi hit the woodwork.
Now it’s time to catch our breath and prepare for Girona’s visit next Monday.