•  Athletic has three consecutive victories at home for the first time with the Asturian as coach

Marcelino greets Alessio Lisci, the Levante coach, before the start of last Monday’s game at San Mamés

Marcelino is slowly achieving his goal. Making San Mamés a fortress, the goal that was proposed at the beginning of the season and what has distinguished Athletic throughout its centenary history. The coach considers that this is decisive for his team to get a European place when the 2021-22 League locks up the weekend of May 21 and 22.

The rojiblancos progress in a very positive way in this facet. So much so that they have achieved three consecutive victories at home for the first time since the Spaniard took charge of the team. The 3-1 victory against Levante, with goals from Mikel Vesga, Iñaki Williams and Oier Zarraga from a penalty, has been added to those achieved against Espanyol and Real Sociedad. The Bilbao team defeated the parakeets 2-1 (Sancet and Iñigo Martínez) and thrashed the txuri urdin (4-0, Vivian, Sancet, Iñaki Williams and Muniain).

Full of points in the three games played in Bilbao for the first time this season and also in the past, when they did not even achieve two wins in a row adding the games at home and away.

The lions did have two consecutive victories in Bilbao this season. It was in the matches against Alavés and Villarreal. 1-0 against the Gasteiz team -directed then by Javi Calleja-, with a goal by Raúl García and 2-1 against the yellow submarine (again the ’22’ rojiblanco and Muniain).

The truth is that this streak has been essential to engage the team in the European fight despite the fact that in between they conceded away defeats against Mallorca (3-2) and Barça (4-0), a clash that was conditioned by the second leg of the Cup semi-final against Valencia at the Mestalla, which was played just three days later.

Europe is possible

Now, the people from Bilbao have moved to four points from sixth place and six from the fifth that Betis occupies, the next rival. The Verdiblancos will receive Athletic this Sunday with the ‘slump’ of yesterday’s defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt (1-2) in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 and with their minds set on the second leg that will be played on next Thursday in Germany.

Pellegrini’s team lost last weekend the Champions League place they have held for a large number of days after losing to Atlético also at home (1-3). A victory at Villamarín would allow the lions to be three points behind the Betis with ten games to go to finish the championship.a

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