Atlético de Madrid - Athletic Club
Matchday 22

Atlético de Madrid - Athletic Club

Atlético de Madrid
Atlético de Madrid
Athletic Club
Athletic Club

LocationVicente Calderón , Madrid

Atlético de Madrid 1-Athletic Club 0: After forgiving…

Athletic Club continues at the foot of the classification table after being defeated (1-0) by…

Athletic Club

Athletic Club continues at the foot of the classification table after being defeated (1-0) by Atlético Madrid. The goal was scored by Kun Agüero in the minute 64 of play and our team was unable to react. In the first half, the best occasions were for our team, who yesterday donned the black kit, but after forgiving and before a rival with such high quality players one almost always pays and more so if the team, ever so conditioned by the injuries, has to be altered several times during the course of the match.

In the starting line-up, Expósito occupied the position of sanctioned Amorebieta, Javi González played the right wing and from the beginning there was less anxiety than had been expected. The locals had problems creating game down the wings so they insisted on the midfield. Despite it all, there were reasons enough to be alert, since Mista, Torres and Kun continually changed their attacking positions.

In spite of that, and as has become the norm on away matches, the first dangerous option was for Athletic. Sarriegi barely missed the header finish in the 3rd minute and its rebound was sent out by Javi Martinez. There was a glimpse that Atlético Madrid could suffer in that type of shots and thus has happened throughout the first period.

Maniche responded a minute later by shooting high from the edge of the area, but the visiting team carried the weight of the occasions: Again, from a free-kick Gabilondo, completely unmarked, was unable to connect the header that appeared frank. In the minute 18, Javi Martinez ended from a volley, but with little angle. The match was just as balanced as it was open and for a few minutes Torres fell to the right wing and caused a few headaches. The clearest was in the minute 24, when a centre of his from the right was finished off wide by Agüero with a header.

The remaining occasions of the first half were also Athletic’s responsibility. At the half hour, Fran Yeste couldn’t control a ball that placed him alone in front of Leo Franco and in the 33rd Aduriz was unable to celebrate his birthday by scoring when the rejection by the defence fell at his feet. Maybe the bounce was too high, but in the end his shot went wide, when it seemed that the goal had arrived.

Without any apparent new features, we arrived at the break: and we say apparent because Javi González requested to be substituted complaining of discomfort in his left adductor. The entrance of Etxeberria in his place gave way to some rearranging of Athletic’s scheme. Mané placed Murillo in the centre, Expósito in the right wing, Javi Martinez as the pivot, while recently incorporated Etxeberria was placed in the right midfield. The effectiveness of the changes would be put to the test in the second half.

At the second, Atlético saw that it arrived to the area with certain ease although without creating great danger, except for an off target cross by Torres in the minute 51, since Athletic had lost strength in the midfield. Mané quickly rectified and allowed Zubiaurre to make his Liga debut in the minute 58, substituting Gabilondo. The player from Mendaro took his natural position, Expósito returned to the centre position, Murillo to the pivot and Martinez to the right wing, while Etxeberria changed sides. Nevertheless, in spite of recovering certain parcels of ball control, Atlético scored from a well anticipated play by Kun Agüero in the minute 64; first shot to go through the three woods.

From then on, Atlético Madrid played much more comfortably and Athletic only distilled certain doses of impotence to react. Aguirre immediately brought in Galletti for Jurado and Mané fielded Urzaiz for Aduriz, in the minute 72. Shortly before, Yeste had the first option of the whole second half from a free-kick that barely missed wide. In the 72nd, Etxeberria finished off flat, but his cross was off target.

Costinha came in for Luccin in the minute 74 to refresh the colchonero midfield and the locals found much more room to practise the counterattack. Kun demanded a penalty from Expósito in the minute 80, Maniche shot on goal for the second time in the 88 making Aranzubia work, and Mista shot softly at the hands of the goalie in the minute 90. On behalf of our team, Iraola shot a free kick in the minute 83 making Leo Franco intervene, but it was not enough to equalise, more so with the precedent of the first half.

Dañobeitia and Iraola have had to undergo anti-doping control, and the second did not arrive on time, reason why he stayed behind with Doctor Sabino Padilla in Madrid, from where they will return on Monday morning. If loosing was not enough the rest of expedition was not able to land at the Bilbao airport and had to travel from Gasteiz by coach to Lezama, where they arrived just past three in the morning.

The classification situation is a bit worse than the last matchday. Even though the team is not in relegation spots, it is essential to recover the pulse at home, to get out of the hole and beat Getafe will be for everyone the only thing, with capital letters, this week.