It was meant to be the match that kick-started new Bilbao head coach Gaizka Garitano’s La Liga reign off to the perfect start to follow up that sublime 4-0 thumping of Huesca in the Copa Del Rey midweek.
And that is exactly what it proved to be despite leaving it until the 90th minute in order to beat highflying Girona on Monday night thanks to an Aritz Adruiz penalty.
That means that since taking over the Bilbao hot seat on the 4th December, Garitano has already achieved the same number of victories (2) as his predecessor managed.
Two matches and two wins is a superb start and it means the win over Girona lifts Bilbao onto 14 points, the same as Villarreal in 17th.
However, it should come as little surprise that Garitano has hit the ground running.
After all, the 43-year-old has been embedded into Bilbao for a number of years and vacated his role as the Bilbao Athletic B manager in order to step into the breach following Eduardo Berizzo dismissal.
So, who is Gaizka Garitano?
Garitano was a successful midfielder probably best known for a four-season stint at Eibar between 2001-2005 in which he was almost ever-present playing close to 150 games during his time with the Gunsmiths.
He stepped into management as assistant manager at Eibar in 2009 before taking the full reins in 2012.
Success quickly followed as back to back promotions meant Garitano lifted Eibar into La Liga for the very first time.
However, the club ended their debut campaign in 18th and was subsequently relegated only to be handed a reprieve at the hands of Elche.
However, by then, Garitano had resigned saying he did not merit to continue.
Relatively unsuccessful stints at Valladolid and Deportivo soon followed before taking over at Athletic Bilbao (2) in June 2017.
Since then, the former Real Sociedad player went on to win just over 50% of his games in charge and is the rightful heir to the Bilbao senior squad throne which he now occupies.
Up next for Athletic is Alaves for another Monday night clash in a game we will see whether Garitano is riding new manager syndrome or whether he is the man to lift Bilbao out of the doldrums.