Athletic Club has lost 1-2 against Villarreal. Llorente has scored the one nil in the…
Athletic Club has lost 1-2 against Villarreal. Llorente has scored the one nil in the minute 4 of play and in the second half Guille Franco and Javi Martinez, in an own goal, have been the authors of the goals for the visiting team. Just as we indicated after the victory in Vicente Calderón, there was still a long way to go and, unfortunately, the facts demonstrated that that’s how it’ll be. After the defeat the relegation positions are at two points with nine teams in a range of five and eleven implied as of today, more than half of the competitors, in the fight to escape relegation. All there’s left is to chinch one’s teeth, especially a home games so that what happened today doesn’t repeat itself, where the team has gone form better to worse.
We would try to maintain a regular performance throughout the match as opposed to the brutal resistance exhibited as opposed to the castellonenses.
Once the matchday results have been seen, the easiest, even the draw was a good booty, but Athletic left empty-handed against the third classified in the Liga, whom have shown the reason for its privileged situation and the quality of its squad.
The match started off well. Excellent considering the difficulty our team normally has to get ahead on the scoreboard. The second half, however, has left a lot to be desired. The two faces of football with a bitter end.
Despite the dashing visitor’s start, with six fresh players with respect to the eleven they aligned on Thursday in the UEFA Cup, Athletic struck first, quickly and with class. A ball that Yeste lead from the left flank to the centre and kicked it to the right band, Susaeta turned it into an awesome cross to the near wood where Llorente smashed it into the net, from the centre of the area, with a beautiful kick from the outside of his left foot. It wasn’t possible to ask for more and in less time and it seemed that the third consecutive victory was blossoming.
A shot by Nihat, from a free-kick, was deflected by Armando in the minute 7, has been an oasis in Athletic’s dominion. Villarreal couldn’t enter and the rojiblancos’ pressure caused an endless array of steals in jeopardy zones that weren’t solved with the necessary precision, but that gave the impression that they could be able to take shape in goals and filled the rivals with doubts. In one of its most electrical starts, in all senses, Athletic had set a high pace to the match and had left Pellegrino’s men without the ball.
In one of those set plays, Susaeta penetrated down the right and his centre into the heart of the area was turned away by Godin, but contrary to what would happen later in the 1-2, goalie Diego Lopez had time to send the ball to corner. In the 18th, Amorebieta ended a volley wide from a corner serve, just before the memorial and vindication act for Carlos Gurpegi, and in the 31st minute, Susaeta had the option to place a more comfortable advantage on the marker, but his shot with his left, despite overtaking Diego Lopez, was taken out from the goalmouth by Capdevila.
From that point on and until the break, the match only provided a ball combed by Godin from a free-kick that was barely off-target in the minute 36. The encounter no longer had the same rate and was burdened by a merry-go-round of incidences and interruptions, with two offensive players, one per team; Guille Franco and Aitor Ramos, gathering their second yellow cards. The Referee included himself to the disagreement with abundant appreciation errors and equal treatment for everyone when it came to cards, which is why the audience, in spite of the advantage on the scoreboard, he was dismissed with a generous amount of white handkerchiefs.
The ruling hope became uneasiness as soon as the ball went into play in the second half, in which Aduriz replaced Ramos. Unfortunately it’s not the first time this season that the team goes in with the wrong foot after the break and the rival, besides trusting its own capacities, believes it. Nihat was in charge of giving the exiting shot with a poisoned free-kick, but again it ran into Armando. It was the minute 47 and although there haven’t been excessive occasions, Athletic’s difficulties to progress foretold the draw. Franco was unable to achieve it from the front in the minute 62, but in the 64, after a play in which in the both visitor laterals stole the ball when the shot seemed to indicate the opposite. The second rear was displaced and the forward put the rest with a good shot to the opposite angle.
The insufficient pressure and the consequent crease have given Villarreal a certain immunity sensation and the possibility of manoeuvring with tranquillity, while Athletic dedicated itself to the debilitating task of running behind the balls with the psychic and physical wearing down it entails. The draw made Athletic get ahead once again, but it no longer the same. David Lopez substituted Muñoz in the minute 67, being placed in the left wing and Yeste in the double pivot and in the heat of transition, Tomasson came in for Nihat in the 70 and Carlota for Mati Fernandez in the 73. For a moment, it gave the impression that the draw contented both teams, but Villarreal has been more constant and has poked at the wound. If in the minute 82, Iraola removed a melee from the goalmouth, a minute later a simple sideline serve left Capdevila in the inside of the area and his shot, that was headed right into Armando’s hands, was turned away by Javi Martinez with such bad luck that it ended in goal.
The later substitution of Gabilondo for Susaeta sent Lopez to the right wing, but all the attempts, customized in individual shots by Aduriz and Koikili in extra time, both neutralized by Diego Lopez, have been in vain; a deception that will have to be corrected on Sunday in Almeria. And all this after a day in which, once again, we’ve demonstrated that everything is possible and that equality is manifested between most teams independently of the place they occupy on the table. Many times it’s the small details that unbalance a match such as has happened in the Real Madrid-Getafe. to finalize, the visitor’s goal takes to us to two slight reflections. First, if that goal is not scored on our team we can’t leave Lezama and Ibaigane before the rain of critics and jests. Second, since football is for smart people and with the spirit of breaking a half smile on a day of few joys, reminding the staunch follower or informing those that didn’t know it, that Athletic Club already did so in the 96/97 season against Compostela when in the 44 minute Julen Guerrero stood alone before the rival goal and scored his second goal of the afternoon while those directed by Fernando the Vázquez celebrated a goal annulled due to offside. The later protests were in vain, but not so the compostelana reaction that managed to equalize at two, with goals by Popov and Penev. That too was a better to worse match.