Recreativo and Athletic Club have drawn at a goal apiece, with goals scored by Javi…
Recreativo and Athletic Club have drawn at a goal apiece, with goals scored by Javi Guerrero and David Lopez, both in the second period. Today’s draw makes the third consecutive match in which our team hasn’t been defeated. Also, the two away games count as draws and after these, the visit by Getafe is a good opportunity for the team to secure itself in the warm zone of the table. A spectacular match has not been witnessed, but Athletic demonstrated that away from San Mamés it can combine strength with penetration into the opponent’s area and reaction capacity.
Just as occurred last Sunday against Valladolid, both contenders tried to take danger to their opponent’s area from the beginning, both with identical 4-4-2 formations, so much so that they were voided in endless disputes in the midfield and the minutes passed without crumpling the rival. Meanwhile, there’s little to point out, Balenziaga booked with a yellow card since the minute 13, though he weathered the storm well. Susaeta and David Lopez changed wings on the quarter hour and for the locals a fireproof Sisi, until the break, was in charge of energizing the local offensive game. Between the comings and goings, Turienzo showed a couple of deserved cards, one to Javi Fuego and the other to Aitor Ocio. What appeared routine, wasn’t as much when a short time later the referee didn’t book Javi Fuego with a second card, also deserved.
After the protests, the first clear occasion of the match finally came when Llorente headed high in the minute 24. Another card, this time to Poli, and a volley by Javi Martinez deflected in the minute 27.
The locals didn’t back off, especially on set-pieces, before fans (as soccer environment is everywhere) that combined encouragement with unexplained nervousness considering it was the fourth matchday of the Liga. Nevertheless, the dynamics of penetrations were not translated into real danger for our goalkeeper and the match was being consumed without control and with enormous difficulties for the number of passes between teammates to exceed the half dozen.
The most noteworthy for Recreativo arrived in the minute 36 when Guerrero’s centre was sent back to the goal area by Camuñas, but Iraizoz deflected the ball. In the almost following counterattack, Ion Vélez gave Riesgo a bit of work. Before the break, another card, this time to Javi Martinez and a long-range shot saved by Iraizoz.
A single change to resume the match: Orbaiz came in for Gurpegi with the intention of prolonging possessions. Stability persisted, even when it came to goal occasions. In the minute 48, a shot by Oliveira was caught by Iraizoz and Riesgo has done the same with one from Martinez. Down the same path as the previous substitution, as Caparrós indicated after the match in the press room, in the 53rd minute Yeste came in for Ion Vélez. Athletic kept their chin up and in the 55th minute a drop header by Llorente was barely sent wide by Susaeta, and in the 58th, Javi Martinez was the object of a possible penalty, but so far this week, he somewhat lacks experience in the fall.
In the opponent’s play, a great block by Iraizoz to a point-blank header by Guerrero in the minute 63. And to get some return on the habit, Adrián Colunga replaced Javi Fuego thus equipping the players from Huelva with greater offensive power, so much so that in the minute 70 it resulted in the 1-0. Athletic Club lost a ball near its midfield line and the quick counterattack was finished off with a crossed drive by Guerrero into the net.
With the match on the uphill, Caparrós almost immediately ordered Joseba Etxeberria to come in for Javi Martinez, changing Yeste to the pivot. Automatically, Zambrano introduced Barber to replace Marco Rubén.
With no time for either contender to adapt to the new situation, a ball from Yeste to the area in the minute 76 was finished off by David Lopez with his left just as it came to him and the ball sneaked into the far corner, which theoretically Riesgo had to defend. And back to the beginning. Zambrano withdrew an exhausted Sisi and brought in Akale.
The encounter became a succession of comings and goings and in that setting Athletic felt comfortable, so much so that, at times, the initiative was rojiblanca with individual opportunities for Etxeberria and Llorente. The locals, however, had their last attempts at the hand of Colunga, with a high shot with the left in the 86th and another great opportunity in the 88th, but Iraizoz brought out a more than excellent hand to deflect the ball to corner.
A point to complete what is known in the world of soccer as the English average, to win at home and draw away, but to walk comfortably down that path, it’s necessary to pass the test of Getafe in this Liga that ambles between several stoppages and days without rest.