Athletic Club - Getafe CF
Matchday 29

Athletic Club - Getafe CF

Athletic Club
Athletic Club
Getafe CF
Getafe CF
  • 28' Etxeberria

LocationSan Mamés , Bilbo

Athletic Club 1 Getafe 0: Third triumph in a row

Athletic Club has obtained its third consecutive victory in La Liga, an important triumph on…

Athletic Club

Athletic Club has obtained its third consecutive victory in La Liga, an important triumph on the road to mathematical tranquillity and which places our team in eighth position with practically the same number of points that were worth the permanence last season… with nine games to go until the end of the league.

Joseba Etxeberria scored the winning goal in the first half, his 100th goal for Athletic Club (86 in La Liga, 10 in the Cup, 2 in the Champions League and another 2 in the UEFA Cup). On the negative side, the scare and subsequent injury to Garmendia after a clash with Pato, who is fortunately now at home, and the tenth yellow card shown to Javi Martínez, who will not be able to play against Recreativo de Huelva.

The Red and Whites were the better side overall, especially in a first half in which they clearly imposed themselves on one of the teams in fashion and who had gone a dozen consecutive matches without defeat. There were numerous chances to score before half-time, but as the scoreboard only showed one-nil at the end of the first half, the suffering and the uncertainty of the scoreboard was increasing, especially after Garmendia’s injury when the team had already made the three changes required by the regulations.

Athletic approached the match as expected and as required: with desire, trying to set a high tempo so that their opponents would feel the -blessed- “burden” of being alive in three competitions. The objective was achieved as the minutes went by. In the ninth minute Llorente (100 games for Athletic Club) shot wide from Susaeta’s pass. In the 15th minute Pato demonstrated in public his skills with the ball at his feet and away from his goal, but Orbaiz’s attempted lob was saved by a defender under the posts and led to a brawl… with his team-mate Cotelo, although the referee let it pass without a card. In the 17th minute, Pato also showed he knew how to stop a shot from Susaeta between his legs after a good counter-attack led by Yeste. In the 21st minute, the same Pato did well to keep out Yeste’s shot, while Llorente sent the goalkeeper’s rebound high.

Getafe found it very difficult to keep the ball for any reasonable length of time and even more difficult to create danger, although they showed some of their virtues, for example in the 22nd minute when Cortés finished off a quick counter-attack with a cross-shot from outside the area. It was a mere mirage, as Athletic continued to add notches to the revolver of their chances until, in the 28th minute, they finally managed to make the most of their combinative and vertical play. In addition, they made it clear that they know how to handle the ball well.

The ball moved from flank to flank, starting on the right, passing patiently through Yeste and Javi Martínez, who opened the ball up for Del Horno to cross without stopping and Etxeberria placed his foot as a striker with a nose for goal is expected to do. One hundred goals. Yesterday’s should help the team to shake off the corset of recent years and, as against Getafe, show that with their own products they can do a more than decent job.

After the goal Athletic kept the initiative until half-time and with it new chances such as Llorente’s deflected header from Susaeta’s cross from the right in the 30th minute, Javi Martinez’s header from Yeste’s cross inches from the post in the 37th minute with Pato as his guest and Yeste’s shot which was unintentionally and unexpectedly met Llorente’s body in the 42nd minute.

A very good first half, offensive, coordinated, with rhythm, anticipation and pressure. A period full of merits to go into the changing rooms with a comfortable lead, but which has put on the table one of the most expected and, on the other hand, most feared challenges when retiring with a lead. How to face the restart? In other words, how to maintain the lead with as little pressure as possible? To begin with, Athletic did better than at other times, with Llorente’s chance from a Pato free-kick coming back off the post in the 53rd minute of play.

On the hour mark, Getafe had one of their three chances of the second half, but Ustaritz got his head to Casquero’s close-range effort. In any case, the Madrid side took control of the game, although they lacked the ideas to break down Athletic’s defence. Until extra time they only created a second clear chance, that of Uche in the 66th minute, when he brought down a great pass from De la Red, but Aranzubia closed down the space and deflected the danger with his body. The goalkeeper, in case anyone had forgotten or had any doubts, is an Athletic Club player and plays as such.

Sousa had already come on for Gavilán and another Gabi, this time with a b, Gabilondo, gave Etxeberria a rest and Yeste was placed as second striker. In that position he had his chance in the 70th minute, but again Pato, this time helped by his foot, saved the danger. Another change for each team. While Caparrós in the 73rd minute brought on David López for Susaeta to try to stop Licht’s surges, in the 75th minute Laudrup ordered Kepa to replace Belenguer. An offensive and risky gamble at the same time. The defence was now a three-man defence and De la Red was placed closer to the last line.

Iraola took advantage of one of the gaps and in the 79th minute he gave Pato some work to do with a low left-footed shot that was tighter than expected. Laudrup then changed his right wing, Juanfran for Cotelo in the 82nd minute, and Garmendia came on for Yeste in the 83rd minute. Getafe were more willing than deep despite their three natural strikers, but the forced withdrawal of Garmendia after the scare following the clash with Pato left Athletic a little weakened, especially with the five-minute extension.

At the start of the game and while the crowd and our team’s players were trying to take seconds off the clock, Albin’s long-range volley crashed against the post. It would have been too much reward for the visitors.

Our team, on the other hand, kept another clean sheet, which is not a trivial matter, not only because there have been three goalkeepers so far, but also because leaders Real Madrid have conceded the same number of goals as Athletic (28) and the lowest scoring team, FC Barcelona, have 26 in their box.

Joy and peace of mind because the goal of staying out of trouble is closer, coinciding with the team’s greater solvency at San Mamés. Three consecutive wins, only one game lost out of the last seven, ninth matchday without conceding a goal, relegation seven points away and nine teams in between. It’s time to live with less pressure and to look for an almost definitive consolidation. Let’s see if the streak continues in Huelva.