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Nico Williams opens La Liga account as Athletic Bilbao thrash Elche

21:00 GMT+3 11/09/2022
Nico Williams
Nico Williams scored his first Spanish top-flight goal as Athletic Bilbao breezed to a 4-1 victory over Elche at Estadio Martinez Valero.

WHAT HAPPENED? Bilbao raced to a two-goal lead in the opening 14 minutes through Nicolas Fernandez Mercau’s own goal and Oihan Sancet’s penalty. The Ghana prospect made it three eight minutes before the hour mark with a stunner, before Alex Berenguer added some gloss to the scoreline a minute before the half-time break.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: This was a convincing performance from Ernesto Valverde’s men which further strengthens their European credentials after a disappointing home defeat to Espanyol last time out. Williams gave a good account of himself before he was subbed off for Oier Zarraga four minutes after the hour mark.

ALL EYES ON: Nico’s elder brother Inaki continues to wax stronger after his injury concerns to make it 238 consecutive appearances for Athletic Bilbao in victory. Although the Black Star was not on song, he was a constant threat to the Green-striped ones’ defender before he was substituted for Gorka Guruzeta with 12 minutes left on the clock.

THE MATCH IN ONE PHOTO:


THE VERDICT: 

Nico Williams finally got his name on the goalscorer’s sheet in the Spanish elite division, and it was worth the wait.

Some are calling on the 20-year-old to switch international allegiance from Spain to Ghana. Is this call too early?

WHAT NEXT FOR ATHLETIC BILBAO? The Lions are next in action on Saturday evening when they welcome Rayo Vallecano to San Mames. Should Williams feature against Andoni Iraola’s Red Sashes, could we see him find the net?