Athletic Club has lost against Sevilla FC by 0-4, with goals scored by Renato, Negredo,…
Athletic Club has lost against Sevilla FC by 0-4, with goals scored by Renato, Negredo, Kanouté and Navas. This evening’s inexcusable defeat will have to be considered an accident, simply because our team has practically not risen to the occasion and more so against a quality team such as Sevilla, that perfectly took advantage of the our team’s deficiencies to leave the match sentenced before halftime with an astounding 0-3 after having five occasions.
It didn’t need more and the second half was just for the benefit of inventory, especially after Fernando Amorebieta’s send-off. During this period, it was enough for the hispalenses to have another three clear opportunities to increase the gap on the scoreboard even more, while Athletic resorted to some isolated sparkles showing off mettle and its proud and understanding followers that encouraged our team at the worse moments.
We’ve mentioned that we have to consider this evening’s undeniable defeat as a mishap, something that, to be clearer, should serve for giving us a bath of reality and thereby place the situation where it deserves, something already noticed after more rewarding matches: neither that good before, nor that bad now. Also, the other positive reading that can be made is that in spite of having to come to terms with two consecutive defeats, the team still has a mattress of points with regards to relegation spots, which is not an obstacle nor a restriction so that in Valladolid, with the sure loss of Amorebieta, we can try to palliate the lagoons of the last part of this week.
The exchange of blows was brief: tackle by Negredo and almost point-blank shot by David Lopez after a back pass by Susaeta which was stopped by a defender or went to a defender. The short-lived balance broken in the minute 4 after a foul in Athletic’s left lateral area as the rival was attacking. Renato decided to shoot on goal, and scored, given the sole presence of Susaeta at the barrier. Sevilla was more relaxed, because they maintained the intensity. In an attempt to react, the clearest option arrived in the minute 18 when Toquero made Palop intervene; he deflected his shot, and the goalie trapped the later shot on goal by Llorente.
However, any sign of reaction was nipped in the bud just one hundred twenty seconds later. A long ball by Sevilla without apparent complications was cleared short by Amorebieta with a header… right to Capel’s feet; he set up Negredo who calmly scored the 0-2. Uphill and especially against a rival that, for now, appears as the only alternative to Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Both teams kept doing their thing, Athletic pressuring more with their hearts than with their head and Sevilla, without much to worry about, awaiting their opportunity. The occasions were also distributed: Gurpegi with a high Chilean (in this play a Sevilla defender hung himself from the crossbar and as the regulation indicates he should have been penalized with an indirect free kick); Squillaci with a header, from a free kick, parried by Iraizoz; Llorente with a strong shot from outside of the area and Negredo, who all by himself kicked an impressive volley that nearly brought down the crossbar. Everything indicated that both teams would retire to the break with the 0-2, which left the door open so that one goal would put Athletic back into the match. It didn’t happen. As it never rains, but it pours, today was Athletic’s turn to get wet, and a foul on the verge of halftime brought about a shot by Negredo, not blocked by Iraizoz and the consequent rebound was turned into goal by Kanouté.
The rest was practically unnecessary with Amorebieta sent off in the minute 55. Also unnecessary was the fact that shortly before the break Jiménez reproached and even insulted Captain Joseba Etxeberria, because Athletic had not sent a ball out when Sergio Sanchez claimed to have suffered an injury after a disputed ball that Toquero eventually took. Let this serve to insist on the necessity that it not be the clubs that inform each other as to whether they are going to send the ball outside or not, in case of possible mishaps, but instead it should be the governing bodies of football that should universalize a protocol for such cases that would go through the exclusive responsibility of the referees when it comes to stopping the game or not.
In what’s purely related to football, after the interval Gurpegi and Susaeta were substituted by Yeste and Muniain. After Amorebieta’s send-off, Eneko replaced David Lopez, though the centre position was still occupied by Javi Martinez. The pace of the game visibly decreased, thank heavens, but that didn’t prevent Navas from scoring the 0-4 with his left. In addition, Ustaritz charged down individual attempts by Luis Fabiano and Capel and Iraizoz a free-kick taken by Luis Fabiano.
Everything was decided and now our mind must be set on the Europa League, where Athletic is leading in its group, but this Thursday must face Werder Bremen, one of the favourites not only of this phase, but of the whole competition. Good opportunity to recapture positive feelings.