Athletic Club VS Real Betis 2/4/2007 | Athletic Club’s Official Website
Matchday 21

Athletic Club1 : 2Real Betis

San Mamés
5:00 PM
Date and time
2/4/2007 - 5:00 PM

Athletic Club 1-Betis 2: Once again, San Mamés chokes

Athletic Club wasn’t able to turn around the negative statistic that, in a manner of…

Feb 4, 2007

Athletic Club wasn’t able to turn around the negative statistic that, in a manner of speaking, it hoards in San Mamés and have fallen defeated to Real Betis by 1-2, after goals by Robert (m.12) and Pancrate (m.75), while the penalty transformed by Urzaiz in injury time (91m) was just not enough.

Athletic has been more than its rival for most of the match, it’s carried the game initiative, but hasn’t shown the necessary clarity in the crosses to the middle or the ending passes, besides not being excessively favoured by the referee’s decisions, since it’s been many the occasions in which Daudén has been able to give and take. Just as was expected, Betis proved to be firm in the back and has known how to resolve its only two goal occasions, a constant that many teams, including ours, perfectly take advantage of on away matches.

If to this we add the results of the rest of the grounds, we find ourselves once again at the bottom of the table and the unwished-for fulfilled prophecy that the struggle to escape the bottom of the table will be a hard one.

Our players jumped onto the pitch with the importance of the match in mind, trying to corner Betis from the initial whistle, although with few clear options to score. Aduriz ran into a defender in the minute 12 and, in the 13th, the clearer option was for Sarriegi, since his header was removed from the line by Ilic. Unfortunately, Robert was more accurate in the minute 18 when he deceived Aranzubia and beat him to goal. In the following minutes, Athletic went through its more problematic minutes, with no place on the field, but Betis didn’t take advantage of that circumstance. The local’s resurrection, and that of the fans, came as other times, at the hands of a decision by the referee. The minute 29 was running when the ball and Fernando Vega’s hand made contact inside the area. The referee considered that it did not deserve a penalty and from that point on began not only Athletic’s continued siege, but a long series of debatable and challenged plays.

Yeste wasn’t able to score from the free-kick in the minute 32, in the 37th the shot on goal by Javi Martinez bumped into Toni D.S.’s body; in the 38th, Murillo culminated a good individual play, but his left-footed shot was turned away to corner by the goalie and in the 43rd minute, Urzaiz requested a penalty, but it apparently wasn’t.

During the first half the rojiblancos tried to work the flanks, they covered, except for the goal, the connection with Robert and went through some difficulties because of the midfield game by Sobis and Rivera. In the second half, the tendency was even more clear, but also more contradictory.

Athletic Club cornered Betis in its side of the field, it approached more, and sent more crosses to the area; it claimed a greater number of controversial plays… but it also created less danger…

Mané made his first changes on the slate. Yeste changed to the right wing, Javi Martinez to the centre and the left wing was left for Aduriz. Betis, more of the same with its lungs, especially in Vogel, Rivera and Sobis; the latter two were running out of strength as the minutes passed. Almost immediately, Caffa left his place to Fernando, after a while Llorente replaced Aduriz, with Javi Martinez changing to the left wing. In the minute 66, this last one centred and, did the ball hit the arm, the hand, or both simultaneously? Sixty seconds later Miguel Angel entered for Rivera and the 69th Javi González for Casas, while Pancrate replaced Sobis in the 73rd. In the meantime, Urzaiz had been grabbed in the penalty area, but to the forward of Tudela, given his body size it seems more should be done to him than to others for the 11 metres to crystallize. The match continued the same path, but with so much public debate the rojiblancos lost their concentrations by moments, as they did when bringing the ball into play in the minute 75 when recently incorporated Pancrate found a badly cleared ball in the area and made things a lot more difficult.

On the uphill, our team has shown matchday after matchday that it will not surrender, not even in the most difficult situations and decided to continue like before, that is to say, in the vicinity of Doblas’ area. Urzaiz finished off of header, though high, from a cross by Llorente in the minute 80, and Llorente himself has been the object of a penalty in the minute 87, a play that the referee turned into a foul by the attacker. From all the demanding, in consonance with the presence of the Choir from Arratia on the occasion of Santa Águeda, our players continued insisting in the area and Urzaiz was finally granted a penalty in the minute 89, perhaps because everything was reaching an end. A minute later, already in injury time, Urzaiz narrowed the distance, but there was no time left for more… and much less if the referee grants three minutes, not a second more, after five substitutions, as many yellow cards, including one for wasting time to the visiting goalkeeper, a couple of disturbances and one delay or another more.

A defeat in which the team has once again given their all, but in addition to some concentration lagoons they have suffered from clarity in the final passes and haven’t known how to open the defence of a rival who was also conscious of the importance of the duel. Perhaps it hasn’t been like this in the environment, that have spent all week between the undertow of the derby and the almost perpetual ‘tribute’ to Luis Fernandez (who has played his hand perfectly by letting himself feel wanted and undoing the flatteries) that’s been worth for filling pages and minutes with the background of a team with European numbers in who knows how many match days…with 22 points. Despite it all, overcoming new losses like the one of Amorebieta due to accumulation of reprimands, pinning down concentration and showing the same delivery as the last matches, we will be able to overcome the duel. The following scenario is not the easiest, but it’s what there is.