Athletic Club manager Marcelino García Toral has challenged the Lions to play out of their skin in Valencia in order to reach the Copa Del Rey 2020-21 final.
The Rojiblancos drew 1-1 with Levante UD at San Mamés in the first leg of their semi-final clash. Centre-back Iñigo Martinez gave Athletic a lifeline after his thunderous header cancelled out Gonzalo Melero’s goal for Levante.
“Even though we didn’t get the upper-hand we wanted, we’re still in the fight,” Marcelino said in his post-match press conference. “Our second half performance showed what we need to do. We can’t let up even for a minute in Valencia.”
Marcelino admitted Athletic were lacking spark in the first half, but was impressed with how the Lions went up a few gears after the break.
He added: “We were sluggish in the first half. We were slow in the press and we lacked intensity in possession.
“In the second half we were the Athletic we want to be, we competed at a good level.
“If we can get close to that level in Valencia, we have a chance of being in the final.”
Athletic will face Levante at the Ciutat de Valencia for the second leg of their semi-final on March 4.
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.