Athletic Club 2 – Mallorca 1Athletic did play a good match. That is certain. Perhaps…
Athletic Club 2 – Mallorca 1
Athletic did play a good match. That is certain. Perhaps the distribution of points between both contenders would have been more even or in agreement with what the development of the match was in itself. It is also very probable that that’s how the many thousands of spectators in San Mamés understood it, as well as the pleiad of fans that followed the match on television.
It would result in a more than an assumable theory, maybe even reasonable. Nevertheless, reality dictated a different verdict: a soothing victory, three points more in the bag and the sensation that everything is possible in spite of not playing excessively well. Athletic exposed sacrifice, bravery and courage as the argument, the rest was done by RCD Mallorca.
Aduriz returned to what had been his home and lived his own frustration of one who suffers one of those nights on which he wants but can’t. The forward from Donosti was unable to take advantage of any of the four clear occasions he had. The spectators, wise as they are, dedicated an affectionate ovation to him at the beginning to later see that feeling shrink with every unsuccessful finish by the striker, who will without a doubt consider what could have been and wasn’t.
The vermilions, donning white kits yesterday, unfolded an attractive and cheerful game for almost one hour of play. And they frightened a generous Athletic in the physical, working the pressure, and solidary in the struggle, but limited in ideas. It missed the team of a Fernando Llorente in plenitude. The forward from Navarre had a horrible night suffering from an inopportune gastroenteritis. His commitment towards the team, the decision to go out and play even knowing quite well that his performance had an expiration time, honours him. Toquero, Del Olmo, and David Lopez, reactivated a confused team in view of the rival’s greater excellence.
The excellent streak of the islanders, no less than seven undefeated matches, didn’t sound like a joke and Manzano’s pupils clearly demonstrated that they are a very competitive team in first division. Fran Yeste opened the match by converting, with some fans still accessing San Mamés, a clear and innocent penalty that Mejuto correctly sanctioned. After 25 minutes of local initiative, the Majorcans took control. One could feel in the development of the game that sooner or later what was not wished for was going to arrive. After a series of occasions, perfectly conceived and terribly executed, Jurado established the equalizer on the marker.
Another encounter was being proposed and it didn’t look at all clear for the rojiblancos. But football, sometimes due to luck and others misfortunes, is still a game. So much so that fortune made Andoni Iraola clear from under the crossbar a great header (yes, again by Aduriz) that was almost perceived in San Mamés as a possible certificate of a painful defeat, to that in the immediate dribble by David Lopez, Javi Martinez put the topping on the cake after a powerful arrival from the wide zone to beat recently entered Lux with a subtle and on-target touch. The members released their tension with the encounter, and more than one of the protagonists, almost agonizing.
Athletic already has 34 points. Obviously, we have no other choice than to start thinking about next Sunday. At 5 in the afternoon, in old Pamplona, Athletic will gamble a good part of its Liga options. Tranquillity, the vaccine against the unhealthy and reasonable anxiety to attain the Liga objectives safe and sound before confronting the great dream, all go through obtaining a positive result before the men lead by Jose Antonio Camacho.