Athletic Club has been defeated (3-0) by Betis on the second match day of the…
Athletic Club has been defeated (3-0) by Betis on the second match day of the Liga, with goals by Juanito, Edu and Capi; quite a heavy punishment for a team that began the fight well, that although it created occasions, it hasn’t taken advantage of them, while the rival has shown nearly one hundred percent success. With an uphill match just before the break, the beginning of the second half has been a copy of the first: a pair of visitor occasions and the local goal, with the exception that the 2-0 of the first half has turned the re-start into an exercise of impotence at the beginning and torture in its final stretch between the result, the heat and the enjoyment of the local audience.
Once that’s been said, and parking a pair of lost balls in the first reaches, Athletic Club went on to control the ball and dribble it to the opponent’s goal area. Thus, in the 12th minute Gabilondo had a superb option to inaugurate the marker, but has hooked the volley too high before Toni D.S. and the ball hit the crossbar. The rojiblancos persisted and in the 16th minute Yeste shot from outside the area but Toni deflected to corner.
Aranzubia was unaware of the danger, but a hung free kick to the second post and the consequential melee in the area was enough for Juanito, after striking the ball badly, to lodge the ball in Athletic’s goal. It was the 18th minute. Yeste tried to draw from a free kick in the minute 21, but Athletic continued to deflate as the minutes passed, which gave way to Betis’ best stretch. Juanito shot a header which Aranzubia stopped in the minute 35 and in the 39th Edu has scored the 2-0 after a great play by Maldonado who took good advantage of the hole that Athletic had on the left side. With the team a bit groggy, Maldonado again made Aranzubia work in the 44th minute.
It was very difficult to equalise the match, not only because of the disadvantage but also because Betis has felt totally draped by an audience that was devoted from the beginning. Sarriugarte introduced Amorebieta for Casas and Urzaiz for Etxeberria, while Aduriz was placed on the right and the one from Tutera as a forward.
No substitutions yet for Betis. Athletic needed a goal in order to stay in the game and it looked for it with a high shot by Murillo in the 52nd minute, a great header by Aduriz which Toni repelled in the 58th minute and a free kick by Iraola in the 60th, also sent to corner by the goalie.
By that time Wagner had already debuted replacing Xisco, while in the 61st minute Tiko entered for Gabilondo. Athletic was in the rival’s area, but lacking spark and with little precision. Comfortable and awaiting the counterattack, the first sample of danger didn’t come until the 63rd minute, with a one-to-one by Maldonado and Aranzubia which was resolved by the goalkeeper.
With all hope lost, Capi, who had substituted Maldonado just four minutes earlier, culminated a clear counterattack in the 83rd minute. From then on, it turned into a tsunami that devastated it all, on the field and in the stands. Quite a heavy punishment for a team that tried, mainly at the beginning of each period, even though a lesser punishment on the marker did not mitigate the loss of points.
This is only the second match day and as is the rule at the start of every season, more so in a club as ours, it’s necessary to keep our cool. If on the first match day, with less game and occasions, we obtained one point, in Seville, Athletic has held the ball more, but has also pardoned and we must pay for that, mainly by the difficulty that involves being towed, especially playing away, in such a balanced competition as the one we’re in. On Sunday comes another complicated opponent, Atlético de Madrid, an always tough formation, but against whom we’ll have to inaugurate our way to victory.
And to finish, just two notes. The first, in reference to the ball boys; the truth is that all is fun when it comes to Sevillian jokes, but what is occurring at both its stadiums is starting to stink, even though the referee decided to expel the ball boys in the 53rd minute… once all the dirty work was already done. Those in charge of taking adequate measures should bear down ipso-facto.
Just as they should in the second question since, with Gurpegi sanctioned, some of the fans continued teasing him. From what was understood, a ‘Gurpegi enganxao'(Gurpegi, you’re hooked) stood out. In this case, Athletic Club has already announced that it will not cease in its determination to defend its player, whose integrity should and must always be respected, in spite of having been sanctioned.