Skip to main content


Athletic Bilbao celebrates Copa trophy before being held to draw by Villarreal

Athletic Bilbao Athletic Bilbao - Getty Images

MADRID (AP) — Villarreal cast a shadow over Athletic Bilbao's Copa del Rey trophy celebrations by scoring deep into stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Athletic won its first Copa in four decades last weekend with a win over Mallorca, with the club presenting the trophy to its fans ahead of Sunday's match at San Mamés Stadium. Villarreal players made a guard of honor before the match.

“The team answered well after everything that happened in the final,” Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde said. “The hangover from all the celebrations was a concern. That's always dangerous.”

The hosts were winning until video review determined there was a handball inside the area five minutes into stoppage time, and Villarreal playmaker Dani Parejo converted the penalty kick to seal the draw.

Oihan Sancet had put Athletic ahead in the 66th, some 20 minutes after Villarreal went a man down when Santiago Comesaña was sent off with a second yellow card for a foul.

“We don't understand the call for the penalty," Sancet said. “We had the win until the last play of the match.”

Athletic's Copa celebrations lasted several days in the Basque Country with players, coaches and staff parading in front of fans on the banks of Bilbao's River Nervion on Thursday.

The draw hurt Athletic's chances of fighting for the final Champions League spot. It's four points behind fourth-place Atletico Madrid with seven games remaining. Atletico beat third-place Girona 3-1 on Saturday.

Villarreal moved to ninth place with the away draw.

Leader Real Madrid won 1-0 at at Mallorca on Saturday, while second-place Barcelona won 1-0 at Cadiz to stay eight points behind the rival.


Sixth-place Real Sociedad conceded late in a 2-2 draw at home against last-place Almeria.

Adrián Embarba equalized for Almeria in the 88th for his second goal of the match by converting a penalty kick after a red card for Sociedad midfielder Igor Zubeldia.


Sevilla moved even further away from the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at Las Palmas. Youssef En-Nesyri and Dodi Lukebakio scored in each half.

Sevilla's second win in a row — both away — left the club in 13th place, nine points from the relegation zone.

Las Palmas, sitting 12th, is winless in seven straight matches. It has lost five of those games, including the last four in a row.

Also Sunday, second-to-last Granada won 2-0 against Alaves, which is seven points above the relegation zone.


AP soccer: