Real Racing Club de Santander - Athletic Club
Matchday 10

Real Racing Club de Santander - Athletic Club

Real Racing Club de Santander
Real Racing Club de Santander
Athletic Club
Athletic Club
  • Gurpegi 31'
  • Iraola (p.) 73'

LocationEl Sardinero , Santander

Racing 0 – Athletic Club 2: Fine victory

Athletic Club has defeated Racing by 0-2, with goals by Gurpegi and Iraola, from a…

Athletic Club

Athletic Club has defeated Racing by 0-2, with goals by Gurpegi and Iraola, from a penalty. An important victory in a week loaded with matches and that, besides placing the team looking upwards on the Liga table, serves to boost our players’ morale in view of the difficult Copa commitment on Wednesday, against Rayo Vallecano.

Athletic played the match they had to play, considering the fatigue of Thursday’s match and the anxiety of the opponent. It didn’t suffer much and, once with the advantage, it’s known to set the pace of the game. In the starting line-up, finally without Llorente, four present with four players that were not starters in Funchal: Orbaiz, Susaeta, Ion Vélez and De Marcos. Together in midfield were Orbaiz, Gurpegi (on the right) and Martinez.

The first opportunity of the match came in the minute 6 after a header by Christian from the free-kick. In the opposite area, minute 8, De Marcos had his first attempt of the many he connected, but Toño saved it without difficulty. Tchite was booked with a yellow in the minute 9 and Geijo had his chance in the 13, but his shot was soft enough for Iraizoz to easily deflect.

Athletic had few balls, or they did but they quickly squandered them and Racing didn’t have their ideas clear enough to do damage to the rojiblancos, well stacked in the back and with Javi Martinez doing most of the work. Despite this, coming out of corner in the minute 28 Luis Garcia shot a strong left and Iraizoz parried.
There was a lack of game in the Nuevo Sardinero, but Athletic, besides being firm in the back, also performed well on set pieces. Christian was booked after a jumper with Gurpegi. He soon recovered and finished off with a header, assisted by Castillo, getting past Toño, to once again savour the goal, something he hadn’t done since 29 October 2005, against Celta in San Mamés. He now feels like a footballer, hundred percent, and he shows it on the field.

The next attempt has also been for Athletic and Orbaiz has been close to an Olympic goal, but Toño has been quite accurate. Ion Vélez was booked with a yellow after his spectacular head crash with Torrejon’s nose; the player had several stitches in the changing rooms. Ironically, and in numerical inferiority, in the minute 42, Tchite had the best opportunity of the match, but Iraizoz guessed his intention.

It was important to go into the break with the advantage and hold the initial haul of the second half, a circumstance that took place, though it’s been limited both in time and quantity, since it can be resumed in a shot by Christian, from a corner with later deflection by Iraizoz. Our players situated themselves better and the opportunities transferred area. For example, in the minute 52, a left-footed shot by De Marcos was deflected to corner just over the crossbar by Toño, just like a sombrero by the same player and later shot on goal with his left, saved by the goalie with his boots; as he did with his glove after a corner by Orbaiz.

Mandia, very questioned, bet it all on a double substitution: Xisco and Arana in for Tchite and Torrejón. Luis Garcia, the driver of most local attacks, changed to the double pivot, Arana moved to the right wing, Moratón to the back centre and Xisco in Tchite’s place. Arana, who recently entered, shot from a distance in the 62 with Iraizoz making the save.
Until the end, Athletic was lord and master simply by holding on to the ball longer and adjusting the pressure in the midfield. To start with, in the minute 67, Orbaiz and Toño continued with their peculiar relationship with a shot cleared by the goalie with his fingertips. Racing made their third change, Sepsi in for Christian in the minute 70; but all in vain.

In the minute 74, Ion Vélez was compensated for his Stajanovist work and Lacen brought him down as he was entering the area. Iraola, with a strong shot down the middle, did the rest. The most difficult task was done, in theory, and this time in practice it’s adjusted to what was hoped and wished for.

With no other mishaps, we reached the end with the three changes by our team in the last stretch: with five minutes to go Diaz de Cerio (he just needs a debut in Copa) came in for Ion Vélez, soon after San Jose, making his Liga debut, in for Orbaiz and finally David Lopez, in injury time, for Susaeta.

Things as they are, and once the difficulties have been overcome; our team has begun to recover the Liga pulse with two straight matches without allowing goals. Now we have the opportunity to round off the week, to manage to progress in the round against Rayo Vallecano, a difficult task, but not impossible. Later, there will be time to once again regain our energy before receiving FC Barcelona.