Only the one point can be rescued from the first Liga match of the 2007/2008…
Only the one point can be rescued from the first Liga match of the 2007/2008 season. It was an encounter that Athletic Club and Osasuna began with yearning, but which deflated as the minutes passed; so much for the modest game exhibited as for the undeniable influence of the heat. A day in which many players made their debut in an official match wearing the rojiblanca jersey as well as the return of some old familiars.
In a full-to-capacity San Mamés the first minutes have been amazing. In the minute 2, Iraizoz responded well to a volley by Azpilikueta, in the 5′ a centre by Expósito was turned away to corner by Ricardo, who in the minute 8 ruined a shot on goal by David Lopez. In the 12th, Iraizoz deflected to corner a shot on goal by Juanfran from just outside the area and at the quarter hour a wall between Llorente and Etxeberria was not controlled as well as the latter would have wanted and a defender turned away the forwards shot.
It’s easy to say the match ended there, evidently not as far as regulation time, but as far as the danger registered by both sides. Osasuna, mainly in the second half, tried it with far-off shots on goal that never got near and for the local’s only one attempt by Cuéllar that Ion Vélez finished off in the minute 91 carried any true danger. In the meantime, Athletic Club kept the weight of the match especially in the first half, giving way to a second half that’s been just as colourless as levelled, with both teams falling victims to the dominant heat.
As was expected, the 4-4-2 was our team’s scheme with some changes between the wings. Making their official match debut on the turf of San Mamés have been Iraizoz, Koikili, David Lopez, Iñaki Muñoz (substituting Tiko) and Ion Vélez (in for Llorente); whereas for Aitor Ocio and Cuéllar, the latter when he replaced Etxeberria, it was their return home. One significant data of the many new features has been that the Captain’s position has now changed from Etxeberria to Expósito after going through Tiko.
Tactically, Osasuna used the same 4-4-2; however, starting in the minute 68 when Delporte came in for Portillo this placed the visitors closer to a 4-2-3-1.
To summarize a match that gives little to write about as far as pages, the rojiblancos have been firm on defence and sharp in attack, as our Manager expressed in the press room, perhaps, among other things, because the transition between the midfield and the forwards failed. The downside came with the overload suffered by Etxeberria and the absurd second yellow to Aitor Ocio, so much for the moment that it took place as for the play that originated it.
The long Liga trip has begun and it’s started off hot, with the absence of goals and game, but at least when it comes to the weather.