La Liga: Ivan Cavaleiro's goal earns Depor all three points against Athletic Bilbao
Last Updated: 03/01/15 11:53pm
Ivan Cavaleiro scored for the first time since August as Deportivo La Coruna fended off Athletic Bilbao to climb clear of the Primera Division relegation zone.
The Portuguese attacker broke through Athletic lines to collect a lofted pass and slide a low finish past Gorka Iraizoz in the 24th minute.
His strike gave Deportivo a 1-0 victory at the Riazor, as the home side resisted second-half pressure from an Athletic side who in the opening 45 minutes had offered barely any threat.
Cavaleiro is on loan from Benfica and Deportivo may have expected him to make more of a goalscoring impact by now. His second goal for the club indicated he has ample ability and composure.
Team-mates Jose Rodriguez and Jose Toche had already threatened the Athletic goal before the breakthrough came.
It was a goal of great simplicity, with Alex Bergantinos lobbing the ball into the danger zone after a free-kick was part-cleared. The visiting defence dawdled, perhaps hoping for an offside flag which would have been an injustice, and Cavaleiro took down the ball with his left instep before taking a further touch and then cracking in a low shot from eight yards.
Juan Dominguez shot over the bar as Victor Fernandez's dominant home side sought a second goal before the break.
There was a different flow to the second half, with Athletic's Unai Lopez and Borja Viguera both seeing attempts saved inside the opening 10 minutes.
Toche sent a shot wide for Deportivo, before Viguera missed at the other end.
Dominguez had a chance to kill the game but could not get his shot right, and headers from Inaki Williams and Mikel Balenziaga late on could have punished Deportivo, but the former sent his effort over the bar and the latter had his saved by Fabricio.
Helder Postiga looked to fire a second goal for Deportivo in stoppage time, but Iraizoz was his equal.