Athletic Club lost 4-0 against Sevilla in the Sanchez Pizjuán. Kanouté, Renato, Adriano and Chevantón…
Athletic Club lost 4-0 against Sevilla in the Sanchez Pizjuán. Kanouté, Renato, Adriano and Chevantón scored the goals of the match. The rojiblancos started the match well with ball control and without difficulties, but as a result of the first local goal the team fell to pieces and Sevilla pulled from quality whenever our team gave a hint of reaction. What was worse was Javi Martinez’ left knee injury; still to be determined with exactitude.
The match began, theoretically, with the world upside down. Athletic Club had ball possession and several minutes went by until Sevilla approached Iraizoz’ goal. The novelty in the visitor’s alignment was the presence of Javi Martinez behind Fernando Llorente to try to short-circuit any sevillista creation. Things took place down that course and the first dangerous approach was even our team’s responsibility, though David Lopez’s penetration didn’t find a striker.
Sevilla, also faithful to its style, loaded its game on the wings with exchanges to the midfielders, with special mention for Renato and the mobility of Maresca. Nevertheless, their first dangerous occasion arrived in the minute 11 when a strategic play by Kanouté combed the ball for Renato to shoot on goal with a header, however Iraizoz’ good intervention ruined the attempt.
It was going to be the tendency of the match, Athletic wanted the ball, it approached the rival area and the one that reached more dangerously was Sevilla. After a card festival (Ocio, Romaric, Orbaiz…) and with the match theoretically controlled, in the minute 25, unfortunately we could say, soccer made its comeback. A shot by Maresca was blocked by Iraizoz and his serve to initiate the counterattack to Gabilondo, whose pass to Balenziaga ended up in a lost ball due his excess confidence, then the tap by Navas and his pass to Kanouté, who just needed to push it in.
If we were to look for clues, that play was fundamental. From then on, Athletic allowed Sevilla to play more calmly, with the knowledge that the most difficult had been accomplished. The attempts to move up continued and except for a couple of shots by Gabilondo that were deflected, there was a distinct lack of real danger. Sevilla, however, fuelled a long range ball in the minute 41 that Kanouté combed as he could, Navas controlled it along the sideline when it appeared to go out and after dodging Balenziaga centred too well for what he’s used to, so much so that Renato didn’t have any difficulty in establishing the 2-0.
Psychological or not, the goal left the match almost sentenced because our team wasn’t able to react. After going through the changing rooms, Susaeta replaced Gabilondo and was placed in the right wing, while Martinez backed down to the pivot and Yeste advanced his position. Without a quarter hour going by, Ion Vélez replaced Llorente.
At least, Athletic was reaching. A penetration by Susaeta ended up with a back pass Iraola shot wide from a forced position and a pass by Yeste to the recently incorporated player allowed the forward to save Palop’s exit, but not to a defence that, from under the posts, sent it to corner. Soon, Duscher replaced Romaric to bring some fresh air into the local’s midline and Sevilla once again took possession of the match. To make matters worse, Javi Martinez was injured on the hour of play and Garmendia debuted in the current season. Shortly after, Adriano replaced Capel whom Iraola had passed unnoticed, and that same winger, the one that had most shots on goals on our rows, combed a header in the minute 65, which Palop saved.
In the sevillistas response, Adriano in first instance and Maresca after the rebound from Iraizoz, had their occasion in the minute 69, but his shot has gone wide to the left. Again Maresca, very active though excessively individualistic, shot wide in the 71st.
As usually happens in this sport, as was already obviously seen against Getafe, not getting it right entails the risk of the opponent taking advantage of one’s deficiencies. And a situation that perfectly illustrates this took place just before the third goal, when the rojiblancos executed a good counterattack with a ball by David Lopez to Orbaiz, who passed down the wing to Susaeta and his centre was turned to corner by a defender when Vélez was prepared to shoot on goal. The corner kick ended up outside the sideline and the latter throw-in into a lethal counterattack in which Adriano defined it perfectly. Three to nil, with a quarter hour to go and, Athletic already definitively said goodbye to the match and even the recently incorporated Chevantón was able to score the fourth when Amorebieta was unable to clear a centre from the right, from which all danger came on this sunny afternoon. A fair victory for Sevilla, perhaps excessively bulky on the scoreboard, but without goals and with excessive easiness for the rival it’s difficult to score, more so if the opponent is such a solid team and with the resources that Sevilla has date.
Now, with the Liga stoppage it should serve to heal all wounds and think about defeating FC Barcelona to look upwards on the table. The company is difficult, but this team has demonstrated that it is able to accomplish the best and more in San Mamés.