Athletic Club manager Gaizka Garitano said he was “very happy” with the lions’ well-deserved 1-0 victory over Elche CF at San Mamés.
Captain Iker Muniain scored the only goal of the match in the first half to ensure the rojiblancos got 2021 off to the best possible start.
Despite the dominant performance, Athletic could have killed off the match much earlier, with the lions having 13 shots in total compared to Elche’s five.
“We didn’t score the second,” Garitano said in his post-match press conference. “We were a bit forgiving and were made to suffer for it.
“The second goal was there for the taking, but we couldn’t get it.
“They had one chance and if they had scored it wouldn’t have been fair.”
The gaffer was pleased with what he saw as a job well done by his side, especially in defence.
He said: “Until the first goal we played well. Afterwards there was a spell in which they had more of the ball.
“In the second half, we had the majority of the chances and the team pressed well.
“We’ve conceded two goals in the last four matches. Not many teams concede less goals than us, most goals we let in come down to specific errors.
“We have to keep defending like we did today.”
Athletic have a busy January ahead, with clashes agaisnt Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Getafe in LaLiga Santander, plus Super Cup and Copa del Rey commitments.
“Those are matches we like,” Garitano added. “And generally, we do well against the big team. I think we fight well against them.”
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