RC Deportivo VS Athletic Club 12/16/2006 | Athletic Club’s Official Website
Matchday 15

RC Deportivo0 : 2Athletic Club

A Coruña
8:00 PM
Date and time
12/16/2006 - 8:00 PM

Deportivo 0 – Athletic Club 2: On the right path

Athletic Club continues down the right path after defeating Deportivo A Coruña 0-2, which makes…

Dec 16, 2006

Athletic Club continues down the right path after defeating Deportivo A Coruña 0-2, which makes for two consecutive victories. Javi Martinez scored both goals; the first in the minute 8, after heading in a corner sent in by Iraola, and the second in the minute 92, after culminating a solitary run with a rebound off his own body. It is the first time, in his yet short career as a professional player, that he scores two goals in one match.

With the three points, besides gaining more peace of mind, Athletic Club has demonstrated that it knows how to read matches, that it knows how to suffer and that, although it’s not its primary virtue, once in a while it is able to keep the opponent from scoring.

Deportivo was not an easy adversary, but Athletic came out ready to not exercise as resuscitative equipment for rivals that are enduring a bad spell and, from the start, tried to take the weight of the match to Deportivo’s side of the field. In addition, we have to recognize that in that persistence, having practically guessed correctly the first chance they got had transcendental importance. In minute 7, Yeste power-kicked a shot with the intention of taking advantage of the slippery condition of the field. The play ended in a corner, which was kicked in by Iraola and ended with a magnificent header by Javi Martinez which smoothed the way considering the goal making difficulties of the locals and which, by the way, showed the value of the strategy trained for during the week.

Nevertheless not everything was so rosy, since with the goal the team again remembered the factors that kept them braced to the lower end of the table and we’ve seen the worst and hardest moments of the clash. The Gallegos quite easily took the baton until about half an hour into the match, creating during that time their better, and almost only, goal occasions.

There have been three clear options: Sarriegi, in the minute 15, was able to clear a most dangerous ball that was ready to be finished off by a couple of opponents, from a free kick. In the 16th, almost immediately, Arizmendi, along with Verdú, the most active man on the Coruña side, saw his chance frustrated by Aranzubia. Both again repeated in the minute 21. Then the calm returned, as far as goal occasions are concerned, and it’s only necessary to point out two not-so-clear options: a soft header by Cristian in the 35th minute and a shot by Arizmendi from outside the area in the 36th which the rojiblanco goalie blocked.

A few minutes earlier, in the 32nd, Mané changed Iraola to the midfield, sending Javi Martinez to the right and Athletic enjoyed a bit more ball possession; nothing to boast about. This has not been the only change the goal scorer from Aiegi underwent during the match, since he also played in the hole and in the left wing.

The defensive work and the opponent’s pressure left little gap for attack, if we don’t count Yeste’s free kick in the minute 41 that Aouate deflected to corner, a circumstance which everyone in Riazor celebrated and watched, though first watched then celebrated, except the referee and one of his assistants, who perhaps to not deprive braids of his authority chose to also indicate goal kick.

As it was to expect, the second half followed pretty much the same course, with an important exception: Deportivo wasn’t able to create a single goal occasion and just some confusion in the area worried the rojiblancos. What’s more, the clearest occasion, since there was enough room for the counterattack, was by Athletic Club. To start with, Urzaiz’ chance in the minute 51, after stealing a ball right in the area, he was held back by his shirt when facing Aouate and ‘once loose’ someone else recovered the ball while the referee, who let play continue, didn’t apply the advantage clause as he should have.

It’s ‘put to practice’ was his great blemish, as occurred in the minute 77 after a fault by Juan Rodriguez on Casas, it would have been enough to wait three or four seconds to see that the ball reached Aduriz with no other obstacle than the goalie between the ball and the goal. Besides what’s been pointed out, a play in which Yeste was a bit reluctant before Aouate in the 56th minute was the real danger of an Athletic that saw how peace of mind arrived in the minute 92 when a quick and direct run down the left by Javi Martinez ended in a goal after Aouate warded off the ball and it again rebounded on the rojiblanco’s thigh.

The scene in the second half, besides the fact that when one wins everything seems more beautiful, has been the marker. Both managers continued playing their cards trying to extract all the juice possible to their respective team. In the local squad, Caparrós substituted the forward Adrián for De Guzmán in the 52nd minute and on the forward’s back he immediately placed Cristian first, for a short while, and then Arizmendi, playing at times with two centre-forwards. Ten minutes later Estoyanofff came in for Riki who went to the right wing and changed Cristian to the left. Finally, in the minute 70, the midfielder Iago replaced Arbeloa, changing Juan Rodriguez to the centre position. All in vain, because shortly after the mentioned shift of position of Juan Rodriguez, he was booked with a yellow card and Juanma had to repeat the path to the dressing room before time, just as happened to him last Sunday in Valencia.

For Athletic, however, the substitutions were smaller in number, but equally interesting. Aduriz came in for Urzaiz in the minute 53, Garmendia for Gabilondo in the minute 66; placing Javi Martinez further ahead and in the 83rd minute Amorebieta entered for Yeste, while Martinez changed to the left wing. All, in one position or another, have contributed to achieving the objective of a new victory, a new step to come out of the hole. Precisely this same Saturday marked the two year anniversary of the historical 1-7 in Liege with the support of thousands of fans. Besides reiterating that in soccer everything happens at break-neck speeds, just to point out not everything in our team was all white; nor are things now so dark, which is why victories as the one in Riazor should help us find virtue as the middle course.

Like that day, Athletic has not walked alone and it’s been hundreds of fans who have gathered to push them on towards the victory and as will happen on Tuesday; a match in which all efforts are needed, in search of the most gratifying holiday break possible. And to those fans that the members of Riazor’s security guards took away, after prohibiting that it remained hung or even on the seats, a sign that read ‘Gurpegi Justice’. When questioned by fans, Athletic Club and by all those who took an interest, they’ve used “security reasons” perhaps in the belief that Gurpegi was a famous attacker of sorts. As the saying goes: ‘Lo que Natura no da, Salamanca no lo presta'(What nature does not give, Salamanca does not lend). Meanwhile, and to this respect we continue and will continue demanding justice while, at the same time, we proclaim Gurpegi’s innocence and that of all the members of our organization.