Bilbao come from behind to force draw in Gijon

Bilbao come from behind to force draw in Gijon

 Athletic Bilbao did well on Saturday to force a 2-2 draw away to Sporting Gijon, after being 2-0 down after 24 minutes, dpa reported.

"We showed a lot of character today," said Bilbao midfielder Carlos Gurpegui.

"The game turned difficult for us early on," he added, "but we kept our composure and scored goals. We actually had chances to win, but this is not a bad result in the circumstances."

The draw leaves Bilbao seventh with four points, the same number that Gijon have.

Miguel de las Cuevas gave Gijon the lead in the 13th minute, after a blunder by Bilbao keeper Gorka Iraizoz. Argentine striker Gaston Sangoy made it 2-0 for Gijon in the 24th minute after being played through by veteran Alberto Rivera.

Five minutes later, Gurpegui reduced arrears for Bilbao by heading in a centre from Igor Martinez. And Spain striker Fernando Llorente made it 2-2 on the hour by heading in a corner.

Earlier on Saturday, Espanyol moved up to third with a tight 1-0 home defeat of struggling Almeria.

The only goal in Cornella came two minutes into the second half when Jose Callejon made it 1-0 with a fierce drive, after Almeria defender Michael Jakobsen had failed to properly clear a centre from Javi Marquez.

Almeria battled bravely for an equalizer but their powder-puff attack had no penetration. They are now fourth from bottom with just two points from three games.

Espanyol, in contrast, are now third with six points.

"We have started out winning our home matches and this is the way we should continue," said Javi Marquez.

"If we are strong at home then we will not have too many problems this season."

Saturday's other early game was a 2-0 home win for Mallorca against lowly Osasuna, on goals from Gonzalo Castro and Jonathan De Guzman.

Their first win leaves financially troubled Mallorca with four points, Osasuna, who are still looking for their first win, are third from bottom with just one point.

Later on Saturday Real Madrid are away to newly-promoted Real Sociedad.

Madrid, who are currently sixth with four points, will go top, albeit temporarily, if they manage to win in Anoeta.

Cristiano Ronaldo is in poor form but German youngsters Sami Khedira and Mesut Oezil are beginning to take charge of the Real midfield.

Real coach Jose Mourinho is meanwhile hoping that club president Florentino Perez will allow him to coach Portugal for two matches in October, until a permanent replacement for Carlos Queiroz can be found.

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