The contenders appeared in Pamplona with the need of those that flow in turbulent waters…
The contenders appeared in Pamplona with the need of those that flow in turbulent waters and the interiorized knowledge that the victory was more than alluring, a soothing prize. Whichever of the two teams obtained the longed-for booty, would have a gone a great distance in the permanence path, the magical numbers that dictate the experience and the mathematics.
The duels between the Navarrese and Biscayans have something special: the unmistakable aroma of classic football. There’s a hot flavour smell, the immense appetite of the players, the overflowing passion of the thousands of guests, and great anticipation, in each jump and divided ball. After-lunch football, like it used to be. If two “chefs” with the style and seasoning of Camacho and Caparrós condiment a stew, the table guest knows quite well and in advance the menu that is going to served.
After a beginning that’s been as impetuous as transparent, when it comes to the intentions confirmed by both line-ups, on the quarter hour Llorente shot high a gift from Osasuna’s back, fruit of Toquero’s insistence. Shortly after, Masoud pushed a shot on goal into the net that, because of the game, became a lethal assistance, and with the stands at a boiling point, Ocio scored the equalizer in a set play taking advantage of the excellent assistance of Yeste’s left.
The Navarrese took the blow hard and Athletic could have, if not settle the match definitively, at least place it in the best possible scenario. Llorente shot a header, served by Susaeta, over the far post; Javi Martinez had a one-on-one with Robert, and even a centre by Toquero appeared to be nearer to the goalmouth than the baseline before the alleviated sigh of the faithful Navarrese parishioners. With the one-one, it’s back to start after the necessary repairing journey through the bench.
And it’s an obvious as undeniable fact, even for the most staunch rojillos follower, that a precipitated decision, in a precise throw of the game, framed in the context of a high-spirited as noble duel, remarkably altered the course of events.
And the narrator will take shelter in the canons of political correctness, to relate that, just five minutes after the second act, Aitor Ocio was sent off after a play… that’s right, after one play. For the luck of fans and the misfortune of several committees, the matches are televised. Full stop!
The outcome of the derby was as clear and as cruel as it ended up. Caparrós’ men, pushed by the numerical superiority of Osasuna, tried to entrench in search of the only positive result attainable in view of the circumstances. And with the final whistle poking out, Sergio brought happiness to the stands, and the logical frustration to ours, solving a corner with an unquestionable shot-on-goal.
Athletic has 34 points. It was neither the time for euphoria before, perhaps it happens in the ever-closer 13th May, nor should it be serious reason for depression now. The objective is still within our reach and we have to remember that this team is perfectly capable of accomplishing it.
On Saturday the lions will have a new opportunity. It will be in the safety of San Mamés and with Deportivo de A Coruña as rivals. It should be a week for serenity, composure, the opportune reflections behind closed doors, and work.