Bilbao victory at Valladolid ends winless La Liga run

Inigo Martinez of Athletic Club passes the ball whilst under pressure from Oscar Plano of Real Valladolid CF during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Valladolid CF and Athletic Club at Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla on March 17, 2023 in Valladolid, Spain.

Inigo Martinez scored from a free kick to help Athletic Bilbao win at Valladolid 3-1 in the Spanish league on the same day the veteran defender was called back to Spain’s national team.

Martinez fired his free kick past the barrier for the opener on the half-hour mark.

He was included in the first squad of new Spain coach Luis de la Fuente announced hours before the league game.

The centre back played for Spain until June before former national coach Luis Enrique dropped him ahead of the World Cup.

Gorka Guruzeta added a second goal from a pass by Oscar de Marcos in the 57th and Mikel Vesga converted a penalty in the 78th.

Cyle Larin scored for Valladolid in the 74th, his fifth since the Canada forward joined the team in January.

Bilbao ended a run of five games without a win. Following the international break, Bilbao will have one more league match before they face Osasuna on April 4 in their second Copa del Rey semi-final. Osasuna lead 1-0 from the first leg.

“We had been looking for this win for a while, we needed to get out of this bad run,” Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde said. “We knew that this was an important game to turn this around.”

Bilbao moved into seventh while Valladolid remained 14th.

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