MADRID, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- A first half header from Atletico Madrid defender Deigo Godin was enough to give his side a 1-0 win over visiting Athletic Club Bilbao in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie.
Godin got a powerful header on a good cross from Juanfran Torres in the closing minutes of the first half to decide what was a disappointing game between two sides in the top-four of the Spanish BBVA Primera Liga.
Athletic Club had failed to clear their lines following a corner and were defending too deep and too narrow, which allowed the Uruguayan to get his head on the ball and decide the game.
It was a match which had kicked off with high expectations, but which delivered few thrills as the home team were content to snuff out any attempt by the visitors to play attacking football.
Athletic Club Bilbao may also have lacked spark after only playing on Monday, which gave them less recovery time than the reigning Cup holders and they created few chances in the game other than a shot from Mikel Rico, which grazed the post in the closing minutes.
Atletico also created little in the game, although Diego Costa saw a good chance smothered by Iago Herrerin in the Athletic goal in the first half, while Koke always looked dangerous from set pieces.
In the end the home side deserved their narrow win, but Athletic Club will look to the fact that they are unbeaten in their San Mames Stadium and will have a full house for the return leg.
Meanwihle they also will take heart knowing they have progressed so far after losing their previous first leg games against Celta Vigo and Betis by the same score.
Wednesday saw FC Barcelona take a 4-1 first leg lead away to Levante, thanks to a fine display from Leo Messi who helped set winger Cristian Tello up for a hat-trick.
Meanwhile Real Sociedad took a useful, but not decisive 3-1 win at home to third tier Racing Santander in a rainy San Sebastian on a night where central defender, Mikel Gonzalez scored two headed goals.
On Tuesday Real Madrid won 1-0 away to Espanyol and are clear favorites to progress to the semi-finals when the return legs are played next week.