BILBAO, Spain – Athletic Bilbao forward Iñaki Williams scored on Sunday his first La Liga home goal in two years and then struck again to seal the team’s 2-0 upset win over third-place Sevilla.
With his performance, Williams kept alive his team’s five-match unbeaten La Liga run, having won three matches and playing twice to draws, and gave it a further push away from the relegation zone.
At the same time, the Basque team took revenge for their 3-1 loss to Sevilla in the first leg of the Spanish Cup round of 16 on Jan. 10.
The game, which saw newcomers Munir El Haddadi and Ibai Gomez make their debut with Sevilla and Atheltic, respectively, was tight during the opening minutes but without posing any real danger to either goal.
It was in the 23rd minute when Williams opened the scoring after a team effort at midfield that he successfully culminated on a powerful shot that got past goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik of the Czech Republic.
Williams needed 40 league home games to find the back of the net for the first time since striking in Bilbao’s 3-1 win over Eibar on Dec. 4, 2016.
Bilbao then pushed for the second tally, overwhelming Sevilla, who struggled for rhythm, although attacking midfielder Pablo Sarabia had a chance to draw his team level in the 31st minute, only to have his effort blocked.
The home side aggressively sought out the second goal, which left back Yuri Berchiche could have achieved, but his shot, too, was blocked.
A few minutes later, Sarabia tried his luck once more, but he was unable to find the back of the net.
Shortly after the one-hour mark, Williams squandered another chance to double the score, but he eventually sealed his brace in the 83rd minute on a right-footed shot at the high point of a counterattack.
With the win, Bilbao climbed into 16th place in the La Liga table with 22 points, while Sevilla remained in the third spot with 33 points.