RC Celta - Athletic Club
Matchday 26

RC Celta - Athletic Club

RC Celta
RC Celta
Athletic Club
Athletic Club
  • 35' Ángel
  • Aduriz 69'

LocationBalaídos , Vigo

Celta 1 Athletic Club 1: A bit of everything

Athletic Club managed a one-all draw against Celta de Vigo in a match that had…

Athletic Club

Athletic Club managed a one-all draw against Celta de Vigo in a match that had a bit of everything: a good start, then some slack play, a goal in the first incursion made by the locals, a grim start to the second half and an improvement until the very end when the ball hit the rival goal posts in the 94th minute and, above all, a 10 out of 10 for the thousands of fans who travelled all the way to Vigo thus demonstrating the advantages of having, possibly, just like in the ad, the best supporters in the world.

The goals were scored by Angel in the 36th minute and Aduriz in the 70th minute. There are only twelve match-days left in the League, a little less than a third and Athletic are in need of a victory if they are stay alive in the competition. The Club has a hard fight on its hands, which can’t be won in two or three weeks. With the League calendar in sight, the seven matches to be played at San Mamés hold the key unless the team picks up its old habit of scoring away from the Cathedral.

Balaidos, just as expected, an encounter with a lot of tension and Athletic started off well with the Red-Whites taking the initiative and keeping Celta away from Aranzubia’s territory. Our first goal-scoring opportunity, which was also the last in the entire first half period, came about in the 3rd minute; a kick taken from corner was intercepted by Sarriegi who tried to head the ball into the back of the net. Nevertheless after the 20th minute, the game was dominated by Celta who were not able to create any good goal-scoring opportunities either, which goes to show that not only did Athletic find it difficult to enter rival ground with the ball under control.

The teams that find themselves at the bottom of the league ladder don’t need an endless number of opportunities in order to score a goal and Celta scored a goal in their first attempt. From corner the ball was sent to the goal area by Aspas and finished off by Baiano, however, his header hit the posts and the ball rebounded back towards the central goal area; where Ángel was able finish it off with a header with hardly any resistance. Soon afterwards Canobbio gave Aranzubia a work out while Athletic showed no signs of life and this continued until it was time to head for locker room at half time.

Without changing the first half’s 4-2-3-1 approach Gabilondo was sent in to replace Dañobeitia and Yeste went to the right wing attack. At first it seemed that nothing had changed with Celta having some golden opportunities to upset the balance of the match and worsen even more so the situation. The light blue team were more dangerous and in four minutes they had just as many goal-scoring opportunities. In the 55th minute Baiano fired away, the ball bounced off a defender and almost went in. One minute later Yago’s header, the result of a corner pass, went astray. In the 57th minute it was Cannobio’s turn, but he ran into Aranzubia and in the 58th minute Baiano took a shot at goal with his left.

Mane sent Aduriz in to replace Urzaiz in the 60th minute. This meant that Javi Martínez was sent to cover the right wing and Yeste to the midfield area. Another change, which was much more important, was when Celta were left with only ten players because of the red card given to Pablo García for grabbing Aduriz’s neck. A well-deserved red card, whenever García is nearby the cards are not far away, in space or time. Despite all of this, it took Athletic several minutes to gain control of the match. Javi Martínez took his first shot at goal, a volley in the 69th minute, one minute later our strategy paid off, it was about time, an Aduriz header found the back with the help of Yeste who taken the foul shot in the first place.

A new battle was about to begin. Celta sent Bamogo in for Baiano in an attempt to breathe some fresh air into the counterattack, their next goal attempt was made by Lequi but his header was caught by Aranzubia. Our players were gradually taking advantage of their numerical superiority in the centre and started closing in on Pinto with more tenacity. In the 76th minute Amorebieta’s shot at goal missed and in the 78th minute a pass to the centre from Gabilondo was finished off by Aduriz, but it was caught by Pinto. However, the real danger came when Vázquez sent in Nené to replace Núñez in the 80th minute. Although Athletic were numerically speaking superior, in the 83rd minute, the newcomer snuck into the goal area and was face to face with Aranzubia, however, the goalkeeper was able to deflect the ball with his foot. If he had scored, it would’ve been unfair keeping in mind the state of the match and, at the same time, reflected the lack of control in Balaidos. Soon after Vila stepped in for Gustavo López and in the 88th minute Llorente had to step in for Aduriz, who was suffering from a blow to his left quadriceps muscle.

Athletic never give up and Gabilondo made Pinto work hard in the 90th minute and at the end of the four minutes of extra time a foul shot taken by Yeste was finished off by Sarriegi with such bad luck that the ball hit the goalpost. It could be said that Athletic could have won in the end, but it could also be said that they could have lost as well. To sum up, a draw is not such a bad result, but the tables must be turned on Saturday at San Mamés against Osasuna with the help of the public whose response, once again and without a doubt, has been perfect.

It’s doubtful as to whether Aduriz will be fit enough to play in this match and Murillo won’t be able to play as a result of being given his fifth yellow card. Fine. According to the match report he was given the yellow card for wasting time … in the 66th minute when Athletic were losing by 1-0. Seeing is believing.