This coming Friday at 21:00 CET, Athletic Club take on Celta Vigo at San Mamés in their LaLiga matchday 12 fixture. The lions will be looking for a fourth consecutive win at The Cathedral against the Galicians, an opponent against which Athletic have done quite well through history. Out of the 54 LaLiga matches they’ve played at San Mamés, the lions have won 40, drawn 11 and lost 3.
Most Athletic fans will clearly remember three particularly nailbiting encounters against the Vigo-based outfit. Curiously, all three matches ended 2-1. And in all three matches the lions pulled off the comeback in the last ten minutes.
For the first match, we have to go back to the 1997/98 season. Revivo put the visitors ahead just before half-time. The lions, then managed by Luis Fernández, threw caution to the wind in search of a response. Rafa Alkorta made the breathrough in the 88th minute with a header from a set-piece. Barely a minute later, striker Kuko Ziganda was through on goal, but he couldn’t get past Celta keeper Dutruel. However, in a moment of madness the shotstopper rolled out the football to an unsuspecting defender, the ball bounced of the defender’s feet into the path of Roberto Ríos, who tucked it away to complete the comeback.
The next fightback came in the 2002-03 campaign. Once again Celta went ahead in the first-half, this time via Edu. In the 81st minute, a goalmouth scramble ensued after Javi González’s corner and Joseba Etxeberria was on hand to grab the leveller. In the 90th minute, from another González corner, Isma Urzaiz outjumped his markers at the near post to give Athletic the win at the death.
Four seasons ago, in the 2016/17 season, a late rally was enough to ensure Athletic won the three points. Aritz Aduriz, with an 82nd-minute penalty, and Mikel San José, with a stunning volley in the 93rd minute, helped Athletic overcome a 0-1 deficit after Iago Aspas had given Celta the lead in the 55th minute.
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