Athletic Club lost in Riazor by 3-0. Coloccini, Sergio from a penalty kick and Filipe…
Athletic Club lost in Riazor by 3-0. Coloccini, Sergio from a penalty kick and Filipe scored the goals on behalf of the locals. This defeat thus bringing to an end the winning streak of six consecutive matches without a loss and although our team is now tenth, it is only two points away from the position in the standings that would allow us to qualify for a European Competition.
To paraphrase a famous best seller, on the seventh day he rested. The winning streak is over with and Athletic, evidently against their will and with the full support of their fans, received the highest number of goals scored against them in a match this season in Riazor against a rival, who is still on a roll and who after having scored the first two goals did not have much trouble rounding off the scoreboard and complete what would was to be a placid stroll during the final stages of the match.
Both squads were conscious of each other’s ascending trajectories; mutual respect prevailed during most of the entire first half period. Athletic Club tried to fend off the virtues of Deportivo’s system of two against one on the wings when attacking and defending, having more luck on the right wing than the left one, where Wilhemsson had caused a lot of problems, mainly in the first half.
Despite everything, the first good goal scoring opportunity was when Llorente finished off with a header after having received a centre pass by Koikili in the 8th minute, but his header wasn’t strong enough to surprise Aouate.
A shot at goal by Xisco ended up being a corner in the 13th minute, but just as our team had done several times already, a Red-White defender was able to deflect the ball. Deportivo kept pushing, somewhat irregularly, with opportunities to be had by Lafita whose header missed in the 18th minute and a cracking shot at goal by Xisco, which was repelled by Armando in the 24th minute. The scoreboard read nil all when David Lopez had a good opportunity to score but Aouate who first failed to deflect the ball made amends and sent the ball to corner.
Unfortunately two minutes later the first goal was scored. Unfortunately as a result of one of Deportivo’s weapons, its tactics. Unfortunately with the participation of the most effective men in this situation, the three centres, a kick by Sergio to the goal area, Pablo Amo’s guiding header to the centre, Lopo’s guiding header to the other side which was finished off by Coloccini, with a header of course.
The celebration of the goal was the end, or the beginning depending on which way you look at it, a kind of excessive vendetta almost just as generalized as incomprehensible concerning a coach who has been with the club for two seasons and is leaving the club by choice. It’s obvious that the game of football is like this, without a doubt, but in the heat of the moment people forget that insults, besides being almost always irrational, leads to an infinity of twists and turns at breath taking speed and are counter- productive so much so that those who would like to see the visiting team in second division now find themselves immersed in the struggle to stay in first division.
But the match continued without pause. If Athletic had an opportunity before the rival goal was scored, they had another immediately afterwards when Garmendia stole the ball from De Guzmán and whose pass was finished off by Llorente who ran into Aouate, Xisco’s shot at goal had too much of an angle in the 35th minute and in the 37th Javi Martinez tried his luck from outside the area. Equilibrium in the first half and the second half got underway without any changes to the line up being made.
In order to get the second half underway we should mention the yellow card, which was given to Lopo in the 47th minute, an incident not worth mentioning except for its connection with an incident to come. However, before this incident a Javi Martinez header just missed in the 48th minute. The incident occurred in the 55th minute of the game when Llorente’ run was interrupted at the edge of the goal area by Lopo, which should have been the defender’s second yellow card, but Daudén Ibáñez’s reasoning is inscrutable, or too obvious, and together with the local team’s good play these two factors combined to totally hinder us in Riazor. Curiously, Deportivo have never lost at home with the above-mentioned referee.
Instead of an expulsion, a foul was awarded and taken by David Lopez, who made his comeback to the starting eleven line up, but just like Llorente’s first attempt and the posterior attempt taken by Iraola, Aouate was there for all of them. Shortly afterwards, Aduriz replaced Garmendia without changing the scheme of things and Riki stepped in for Wilhemsson. Lafita was sent to cover the right wing and the newcomer was sent to the left wing, despite having just walked onto the field he had a good opportunity when he took a shot with his right which went over the cross bar.
More luck for the locals in the 62nd minute when the referee considered a tackle by Amorebieta to be cause for a penalty kick to be awarded. Which is debatable, but not for the referee. Sergio scored the second goal and from that moment on the encounter was over. Muñoz, who was injured soon after stepping onto the field, replaced Ocio in the 66th minute, forcing Javi Martinez to move to the centre, meantime Cuéllar rejoined the team in the 75th minute when replacing Gabilondo. David Lopez was sent to cover the left.
Despite these changes, the panorama did not change with the exception of a header by Amorebieta in the 70th minute, which just missed, the initiative and the goal scoring opportunities belonged to Deportivo who had more than enough gaps and tranquillity when moving the ball: Xisco’s header hit the post, Armando deflected a deadly ball by Filipe who had taken a foul, caught another shot at goal taken by Xisco, but couldn’t avoid, he left the goal area, the third goal which was scored by Filipe. Armando was given a work out to remember, and even more so on this occasion because of the wound produced in his thigh thanks to Taborda’s boots studs.
Beyond the physical pain, the blow to our state of mind is much more painful without a doubt even though the distance between Athletic and first place, which would allow us to participate in a European Competition, the Intertoto, is still the same i.e. two points. It is great to know that now that we have fulfilled our objective of avoiding the oppression of being relegated and that we can all now set our sights high and hoist our dreams up high, but this doesn’t mean we should forget the past because the football world is in constant turmoil and, to stop us from going crazy, it’s worth reminding everyone the progress we have made when reflecting our current situation and the upcoming objective.
Now there’s only time to think about defeating Valencia at San Mamés next Sunday so that this negative streak is as ephemeral as possible and, in the meantime, join those who prefer to lose three to zero once than one to zero three times.