Gaizka Garitano was full of praise for the attitude shown by Athletic Club on Tuesday night despite their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
Although Athletic went down to ten men in the 14th minute and conceded just before half-time, the lions put in a spirited performance and deserved at least a point from the match.
“We played with personality,” Garitano said at his post-match press conference. “The team stood up and they kept going until the end even though they played with ten men for most of the game.
“We didn’t play worse than the opposition, but the points have escaped us. It’s a shame.”
The manager said Raúl García‘s early sending-off had a massive impact upon the game, adding: “Playing with one less for the whole match affects everything.
“A pity, because even with one down we did well. The attitude was good, the players have done well.
We have to keep working so that the small details don’t punish us so much. When things are done well, the reward should be better, and we’ll keep fighting for that.”
Garitano highlighted the role played by squad members who have not had many recent starts, saying: “Everyone out there played at a good level. I’m happy with [Óscar] De Marcos, he’s come off the back of a long injury and he was good tonight.
“We’ll need everyone with the schedule we have ahead. In three days we have a vital match at San Mamés.”
Highlights I Levante UD 1-1 Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
A game of two penalties, as both sides get a point
Marcelino: “A victory for us would’ve been fair”
Marcelino bemoaned the defensive mistakes that led to Levante’s goal
Athletic held to frustrating draw by Levante
Despite constantly threatening, Athletic only pick up one point from a match where both goals came from the penalty spot
Confirmed line-ups: Levante UD vs Athletic Club
The XI’s for tonight’s LaLiga match at the Ciutat de Valéncia
Global TV Guide: Levante UD vs Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
When and where to watch Athletic’s upcoming LaLiga match against Levante UD
Marcelino: “We’re focused on winning tomorrow”
Marcelino looks ahead to Friday night’s LaLiga Santander match against Levante UD
Squad list: Levante UD vs Athletic Club (LaLiga Matchday 25)
Marcelino has called up 23 players for Friday night’s clash with Levante UD at the Ciutat de València
A big week against Levante
Athletic will face Levante twice in six days, starting with a LaLiga fixture on Friday (21:00 CET)
Raúl García: “The more difficult the challenge, the better”
After extending his contract with Athletic Club until 2022, Raúl García expressed his intention to keep going “as long as he was up to the task of competing for this Club”
Raúl García signs contract extension until 2022
The agreement includes an option for a further season depending on a number of targets.