Athletic Club - CA Osasuna
Matchday 11

Athletic Club - CA Osasuna

Athletic Club
Athletic Club
CA Osasuna
CA Osasuna
  • 15' J.Garmendia
  • 89' Llorente

LocationSan Mamés , Bilbo

Athletic Club 2 Osasuna 0

A difficult and demanding week with a happy ending for the interests of Athletic Club…

Athletic Club

A difficult and demanding week with a happy ending for the interests of Athletic Club as a result of defeating Osasuna (2-0), the goals were scored by Garmendia and Llorente. The Red-Whites have won four points in the League competition following the losing streak of five consecutive matches and have qualified for the Copa round of 16. A bit of tranquillity, even though the league ladder says the opposite, seeing that the relegation spot is a sad reality, meaning that the same line of work, faith in oneself must be preserved and knowing that the way neither starts nor finishes in a few match day rounds. In order to reaffirm this doses of self-esteem Deportivo are not the best rival to do this, but each round of the league shows us the short distances between most of the teams, many surprises and small details which end up determining the result of numerous matches.

Regarding the extremely important derby at San Mamés, it should be pointed out that Athletic Club was clearly superior in the first half and that they had what it takes to put an end to the match then and there, or at least get well ahead on the scoreboard. This wasn’t so and in the second half Osasuna made an attempt to get into the match, they got close to the goal area, however, without any palpable danger, and our team, this time, turned their defence into a virtue which permitted them to finish off a foul with only 2 minutes left for the final whistle blow.

Joseba Etxeberria had defined this match, during his attendance at this week’s press conference, as a scary one, pointing out that the team with the least fear would win and, what’s more would be the one who scored first, and he hit the nail on the head. That’s just how it was. The Red-Whites came out strong, with better field position, attempts on the second ball and speed in the changeovers, which meant a lot of work, also when it came to strategic moves, against one of the teams with the least number of goals scored against them.

To start with David López sent the ball over the crossbar in the 2nd minute of the game and while Osasuna tried to be dangerous by passing to the centre of the goal area, especially from the right wing, Athletic’s latent danger started turning into serious goal-scoring opportunities. The first of which came a quarter of an hour into the match when Javi Martínez seemed to have stolen the ball from Llorente’s head, but there was no time for regrets, seeing that from a rival throw in under pressure, the stolen ball ended up under Llorente’s control, who entered the goal area, dribbling past two rivals and his shot at goal was repelled by Roberto, but Garmendia, the “surprise” of the local line up, scored with his right. One-nil, early in the match, goals that unfortunately takes us a lot of effort to score and, of course, this one was much welcomed.

Athletic Club kept on trying and, the truth is, that they had several opportunities to put an end to the clash early. In the 19th a foul kicked by David López from the left wing attack ended up hitting the post defended by Roberto, It’s not clear if it had been combed or not by Llorente. Just the soothing effect needed for our peace of mind, or six minutes later when a shot at goal taken by Garmendia just missed after having touched a defender. Without a break his volley, which seemed to be going out, was sent to corner by Roberto and in the move that followed, the corner kick, Cruchaga committed an obvious penalty against Llorente which went uncalled. In addition to this, from an objective point of view five players went to the half time break with yellow cards, surprisingly neither Cruchaga nor Flaño finished the match with a card, even if it is simply to reiterate the foul against Llorente, a nightmare for our rivals, though not the only one. By the way, Orbaiz and Balenziaga are one yellow card away from being suspended.

During the last furlong of the first half the match pace had descended, it had been too high at the start of the match. On the negative side Ustaritz suffered an injury to his right adductor muscle half an hour into the game and was replaced by Xabi Etxeita, who in one week had made his debut in the Copa and in the League, in this case at San Mamés and this didn’t seem to faze him in a match like this dramatic clash against Osasuna.

At the start of the second half, almost without meaning to, the ghosts of the second halves of previous matches were back in a packed San Mamés, seeing that the start of the second half had nothing to do with the match of one hour ago. Without any further substitutions on behalf of either teams, Osasuna tried to get back into the match. A difficult task because in the first half they created no goal-scoring opportunities and in the 49th minute Pandiani took a weak shot at goal and took a deviated shot at goal from the right only moments after Vadocz had his opportunity. Step by step our team got back on the right track when a centre pass from Susaeta who was on the right was intercepted by Llorente who wasn’t able to finish it off in the 53rd minute. Soon afterwards Etxeberria replaced Garmendia and Osasuna almost scored in their very own goal area as a result of Susaeta’s shot to the centre, whereas a Vadocz header missed its mark in the 59th minute.

One hour into the match Camacho wanted to change the pitch around in Iraizoz’s direction with a double substitution: Ezquerro (welcomed at San Mamés with music) and Kike Sola to step in for Juanfran and Jokin Esparza, and more gunpowder was introduced in the 80th minute when Portillo was sent in to replace Pandiani. All in vain given that no goal-scoring opportunity was created until the 83rd minute when Iraola deflected the ball to corner with a header.

The work in the defence department was already the key for the Red-Whites, with the handicap of some balls lost naively in the centre and which spoiled the opportunity of gaining metres and with that a doses of calmness seeing that the nerves were transferred to the stands and from there back to the field in the speed of light. Above all because of the accumulation of negative precedents. This time it didn’t happen that way and just as we did against Real Valladolid in the previous home victory, zero goals were scored against us.

And to put the icing on the cake this week Athletic Club scored a great goal in the 89th minute. Iraola made his umpteenth run down the wing, with some exchanges with Etxeberria and placed the ball in the goal area with a line shot. There was Llorente with his back to the ball and who made a quick half-turn and scored the tranquillity goal with another line shot, his third goal in the League. A deserving reward for the forward and for the team. A good collective move with players (and the team) as the stars of the show that should be included as one of league goal scoring highlights of the week or month. We’ll just have to accept the golden points won.

Meanwhile, with the aim of escaping from the relegation spots we must win our first away game and the place chosen, is the next, A Coruña.