Athletic Club has defeated Numancia in San Mamés by two goals to nil. Both have…
Athletic Club has defeated Numancia in San Mamés by two goals to nil. Both have been the work of Fernando Llorente in the first half. Thanks to the win, our team breaks away from the last three positions of the table, repeats a win in San Mamés and again does not allow any goals; which is why the pending subject still remains obtaining several positive results and, more concretely, sampling the square of away victories.
They are three very important points in match in which the rojiblanco’s superiority took shape from the start. In it, our team has known how to perfectly set the pace of the match, in spite of the emotional load that surrounded it. In the second half, the best occasions have been for Athletic Club and the rival has not even been able to finish off between the woods.
The match has had a similar beginning and end: unjust yellow card for Etxeita, who debuted as a starter with our team and whose expulsion meant the only blemish on a fine afternoon. In the first, just as the match began, Barkero perfectly disguised it and on the second occasion, on the brink of regulation time and with a 2-0 on the marker, the referee sanctioned a player who was just approaching to shoot the foul. There is the possibility that he didn’t notice the fact that he already had a card after booking with, until then, seven in a not excessively rough match.
As far as the match itself, it’s also been a vicious circle. Athletic began commanding and finished the same way, although at some points their performance hasn’t been uniform. Caparrós repeated format, with the incorporations of Yeste and Etxeita instead of Orbaiz and Amorebieta; an eleven with many offensive players, which would explain, to a certain extent, the problems that arise when the rival handles the ball with sound judgment.
The first dangerous play arrived in the minute 5, after a tight centre by Garmendia, when Llorente was pushed in the goal mouth. The play was quickly forgotten, because two minutes later Yeste was very ready and, while the rival defenders waited for a centre to the area, the midfielder chose to chip the ball over the barrier and employ Susaeta in the right wing. His cross was perfectly headed in by Llorente and the panorama was clearly defined.
In the minute 9, another pass by Garmendia was aborted by a defender with Llorente on the verge of pushing for the goal and after the initial spur the time of balance came for Numancia with a pass of meters that appeared excessive. In spite of the collection of corners, Numancia did not threaten, even if the team’s qualifying situation turns each ball to the area into an agonizing threat.
The following opportunity was for Yeste, who shot low just outside, but in the minute 31 things were better for Llorente who’s on a streak. He controlled a ball just outside the area and after getting rid of the defender he connected a tremendous shot with his left that brought composure to San Mamés; two-nil and fifth goal in the Liga for the forward from Irun.
Ironically, from then and until the break, Athletic Club played its worse minutes of the match. During these minutes, we can only point out a header by former cub Goiria that barely missed wide in the minute 42.
In the second half, Numancia brought Toché in for Quero, the big one for the small one, with Barkero in the left wing and two born forwards. In Athletic, Yeste positioned himself behind Llorente and Garmendia changed to the double pivot. The most relevant point was that the re-start of play has not been as cold as our players are sometimes attributed. In fact, in the minute 47, Susaeta sent a tremendous shot to the crossbar and its later shot on goal was blocked by Juan Pedro.
On the hour of play, Gurpegi replaced Yeste to reinforce the double pivot and Garmendia returned to the attacking midfield position, although Etxeberria replaced him in the minute 71. Numancia continued with more determination than success and except for a high volley by Toché, they did not create any uncertainty other than the mêlée in the minute 78. Perhaps our team had the ball less, but it created more effective danger. For example, a centre by Susaeta was finished off with the heel by David Lopez in the minute 64 and Juan Pablo deflected the ball. In the 70th, the players and the result were repeated when the goalie stopped a free-kick when the ball bounced off the barrier.
Llorente enjoyed a clear opportunity to take the autographed ball home in the minute 79, but his left-footed shot went wide. In the 83rd, a shot by Iraola from outside the area, a feature widely used yesterday, touched a defender and Juan Pablo was forced to stretch to send to corner. Del Olmo came in for Susaeta in the 87th; in the 88, Llorente shot a header, but his shot was parried off by a defender and in the 90 Etxeberria was unable to score after a good drop pass by Llorente.
Objective fulfilled. Third win in San Mamés, a better panorama than seven days ago, but the hole is still too close, which is why we hope that the injection of confidence and their daily work allow our players to find the right track.