Athletic Club achieved a very important triumph against Getafe (2-0) and far beyond the intrinsic…
Athletic Club achieved a very important triumph against Getafe (2-0) and far beyond the intrinsic value of those three points, a show of strength at San Mamés was also achieved. Aduriz scored the two goals in the 30th and 50th minute of the encounter, however, the goal scored by Ismael Urzaiz was declared void by the referee.
It wasn’t a matter of life or death, or maybe it was considering the match results from the other grounds, but a win was essential to get back on the winning track, especially at home, and the second victory at home came just like the first, that is to say, with a match winning difference of two goals which means the team can breathe a little easier.
Just like in the match against Recreativo, the rival was the surprise success story of the season, but Athletic Club have shown that they can cope well against the leading teams if they use their usual weapons: good field position, the fighting spirit and a good deal of quality play. In today’s encounter the early stages of the match was a well-balanced affair and in accordance with the match forecast, despite the fact that the Red-Whites had clearly taken the initiative. The relative annotations regarding the yellow cards given are not worth mentioning because Athletic were able to create well-deserved goal-scoring opportunities by taking advantage of their strategy, however, they were unable to finish them off. The public kept calm and kept their spirits up as well and when the match got dull the referee stepped in to put everyone on the edge of their seats.
Urzaiz had the first opportunity in the 29th minute when he kicked a well directed ball which struck the body of a defender. As soon as the hostilities were over with Athletic went full steam ahead, and in the next minute Gabilondo stole a ball and sent it to the centre of the goal area and despite the ball having hit a defender, the ball was not deflected enough to avoid Aduriz, who had earned his place in the centre, from finding the back of the net.
After having achieved the reward, our team did not hold back and Gabilondo made a great individual run in the 33rd minute, but his shot at goal was not struck firmly enough to surprise Pato. The Rojiblancos stuck to their 4-1-3-2 or 4-4-2 approach depending on the circumstances, and maintained the same habitual line up as the one they had stepped onto the field with (Murillo upfront, Iraola and Gabilondo on the wings and Yeste in the middle and Urzaiz and Aduriz behind) all of which was about to be ruined in the 36th minute, when Aduriz couldn’t control his temper after having been provoked by Belenguer but luckily the referee only gave him a yellow card.
It was obvious, the pace of the match did not slow down for one minute, the pace being set mostly by Athletic Club. In fact our squad kept on creating goal-scoring opportunities and in the 39th minute a good pass to the centre by Expósito was headed into the back of the net by Urzaiz, but the referee annulled the goal to the surprise and outrage of the local players and those present, who took advantage of the 30,000 handkerchiefs given out as a sign of protest. The situation was already difficult and it could have gotten worse as soon afterwards Güiza hammered a ball at Aranzubia, who was in point-blank range, however, the goalkeeper was still able to deflect the ball.
At the end of the half-time break Athletic came out onto the field determined to put an end to the match as soon as possible without waiting for their rival’s reaction. In the 47th minute Aduriz was unable to finish off in the counterattack department, seeing that the only option he was left with was to pass the ball to Urzaiz who took a shot at goal which was repelled by Pato. He had better luck in the 50th minute, when he was able to position himself in front of the goalkeeper and what’s more receive a pass from Yeste and then guide the ball under the goalposts.
Getafe were unable to react. Our team showed good sense in a situation that was unknown to them of late, they moved the ball, and hid it when necessary, they kept Getafe in their own territory. Iraola took a shot at goal from a foul kick in the 61st minute the result of a yellow card being awarded to a goalkeeper under pressure.
Schuster made two changes in the 64th minute (Albín and Maris stepped in for Vivar Dorado and Nacho) with the aim of revitalizing his team, while Javi Martínez was sent in to replace Urzaiz. Getafe started to look a little dangerous, but it was too late and besides Aranzubia was on the ball in his one to one duel with Güiza in the 70th minute and once again in the 83rd minute when he stopped a header by Paredes. Then Etxeberria replaced Gabilondo and towards the end Llorente was sent in to replace goal scorer Aduriz.
The minutes passed without any surprises until our objectives of the match were finally achieved, nevertheless, this victory does not change what is in store for us: we can expect a hard fight in order to climb back up the league ladder and in order to do so it is vital that we regain the San Mamés magic because, like today, the points achieved at San Mamés will give our team more confidence. To round off: there will be no players side-lined at Camp Nou the result of being given a card, something which is very important just as our coach stated in the press conference room while trying to put an end to the melodramas of the week. A player that looks for a card belittles those players who have a clean slate and gives the impression that they will tank the next match. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We have a lot to gain in all our encounters and Camp Nou is no exception.