By the end of the weekend, Athletic Bilbao could find themselves back down in 17th place. They're plunging towards irrelevance and lost their fourth straight La Liga game on Friday night, dropping all three points in an embarrassing 3-1 home loss to Basque rivals Real Sociedad.
The hosts got off to a fantastic start, striking first through Ibai Gomez. He made a brilliant run to get on the end of a Jon Aurtenetxe cross in the 30th minute, poking a finish into the back of the net to put his team up 1-0. However, the teams headed into the halftime break level at 1-1, thanks to a goal by Antoine Griezmann just four minutes later. He scored in very similar fashion to Gomez, beating the Bilbao defense to a diagonal to the back post by Gonzalo Castro.
While the first half was even, the second half was all Real Sociedad. Imanol Agirretxe put the visitors ahead in the 66th minute, taking advantage of a goalkeeping error on a free kick. Castro was the provider again, swinging in a ball that Raul failed to handle. Agirretxe pounded on the rebound and fought off Raul to poke home. Carlos Vela sealed the win 10 minutes later, placing a composed finish to the back post from 15 yards after a through ball by David Zurutuza.
Marcelo Bielsa is a well-respected coach who most assumed would get to the end of the year in his current post even under the most dire of circumstances, but it wouldn't be stunning if the Athletic directors acted swiftly in an attempt to stop the bleeding at San Mames. The club are sinking without trace and could find themselves back in the drop zone shortly.