First-half goals from Inaki Williams and Nico Williams helped Athletic Bilbao to a 3-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano at San Mames Barria.
WHAT HAPPENED? After Oscar Trejo had given the Red Sashes a shock fifth-minute lead, Inaki levelled nine minutes later for the hosts before Oihan Sancet made it 2-1 in the 28th minute. In the goal-laden first half, Nico handed Athletic a two-goal advantage after he was teed up by Yeray Alvarez 12 minutes before half-time. Radamel Falcao scored a late goal for Rayo but that could not stop the Lions from claiming all points.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: This was Rayo Vallecano’s second big test of the season and they faltered. They have now lost their third match of the 2022-23 campaign after a promising start that saw them hold Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou. Meanwhile, Athletic put in another statement performance which further suggested that their disastrous 1-0 home loss to Espanyol was a blip.
ALL EYES ON: Inaki was handed a starter’s role by manager Ernesto Valverde which saw him increase his outstanding tally to 239 consecutive La Liga matches since April 20, 2016. The 28-year-old has now scored four goals in total in all four games at San Mames in the Spanish elite division outings against Rayo Vallecano.
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