Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spain May 2009

A few days before they play Barca in the Spanish Cup Final the Athletic flags and shirts are very prominent in the Basque capital.

The club shop in Bilbao city centre is particularly busy.

Pride in their club is evident and the locals can be proud of their culture.

Especially the Fine Art Museum and the impressive architecture and modern art of the famous Guggenheim Museum.

Good Aperitif.

Athletic Bilbao 1 Real Betis 0

But not good for Betis who are uncomfortably close to the lower part of the league table. They couldn't beat a virtual Athletic reserve team.

The 32,000 locals produced a better than average Spanish football atmosphere in the San Mames.

Plenty of scarves being waved and much celebration ahead of their trip to Valencia for the Copa del Rey final.

Bilbao can thank Armando in goal for keeping Betis goalless as he made one excellent save from an Oliveira header.

Ion Velez tapped in the winner in the first half after a move down the right.


Real Valladolid 0 Numancia 0

This local derby was better attended than I expected and it included a large contingent from Soria. Numancia needed all the help they could get being bottom of the league and generally looking limited and lacking in confidence.

The appropriately decked violet and white stadium is unusually characterised by a large number of corporate boxes behind one goal.

Those present saw a very moderate game with few clear cut chances despite numerous Valladolid corners.

Numancia did better in the second half and forward Aranda might have chipped the winner but shot over.

Similarly Ogbeche should have scored with a header that went wide.

At least the sun was shining for most of the game.

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