Athletic Club - CA Osasuna
Matchday 15

Athletic Club - CA Osasuna

Athletic Club
Athletic Club
CA Osasuna
CA Osasuna
  • 1' Yeste
  • 11' Llorente

LocationSan Mamés , Bilbo

Superiority to end a good year

Athletic Club 2-Osasuna 0Athletic Club defeated Osasuna by 2-0; the goals scored early in the…

Athletic Club

Athletic Club 2-Osasuna 0

Athletic Club defeated Osasuna by 2-0; the goals scored early in the game were by Yeste and Llorente, in the last match day round corresponding to 2009. A match in which superiority and knowing how to manage the encounter went hand in hand and was what our team had to do. During the first half our good play should be pointed out, as well as a similar dose of effectiveness that Werder Bremen had on Wednesday, and in the second half an appropriate reading of the match to make it to the end without pressure and to end the year with 26 points, however, there are still four tough matches, three away from home and Real Madrid’s visit, to end the first half of the competition. Everything in due course and right now our players and coaches are already enjoying some much needed and deserved holidays.

To tell the truth the start of the derby was ours for the asking. Athletic were aware that Osasuna, and even more so without two of our habitual offensive players, were going to put up a fight, a typical situation in these types of duels. Perhaps that’s why the clash had stood up to expectations regarding the fighting spirit and already into the 1st minute the pressure applied by Llorente paid off, he recuperated the ball down the wing, made his way to the area and his last pass was pushed to the back of the net by Yeste almost from the goal line.

Athletic did not let up and from that moment on gave the impression, established several League matches ago, of: the Red-Whites are dangerous customers when they’re in the lead and no matter who the rival may be they have a lot of difficulties to cause us harm. Very much of the same had occurred to Osasuna and by the 11th minute the horizon had gotten even darker for those from Iruñea: Iraola sent a ball to the area, next to him was Llorente who controlled the ball and turned to connect a line shot with the right through an ideal gap. Two-nil and the most popular impression in the stands was that the match was practically over with, and all this with, more or less, eighty minutes still left to the game. And our team had no doubt about it.

To reach this state Athletic put together a line up including Ustaritz behind and once again in the centre the group formed by Yeste, Gurpegi, Martínez and Orbaiz. Amorebieta and Susaeta were complying with their bans; though Toquero won’t be able to play in the encounter that will inaugurate the New Year for the Red-Whites, against Palma de Mallorca, due to the accumulation of bookings. Orbaiz and Yeste are one card away from being banned.

On these grounds along with their prominent lead Athletic filled their picnic hamper with good play and goal-scoring opportunities until the break. Besides an opportunity spoilt by Ricardo, a Gurpegi goal was disallowed, Gurpegi yesterday was on the extreme right and had another opportunity soon afterwards and in minute 20 of the match Javi Martínez took a shot at goal that missed, and a strong volley by Llorente had also gone astray in the 22nd minute. Athletic Club were masters of their own destiny, there were gaps and on occasion they only needed what is colloquially known as four strokes to get to Ricardo’s area. On the contrary the Reds could not be seen as dangerous or being able to hurt the structure of the local defence.

An example of this was a beautiful move in minute 26 of the game when Javi Martínez, from his own side of the field, passed the ball to Iraola, who passed it on to Gurpegi and his ball was controlled by Toquero who gave the ball back to Iraola who, had come practically from his own side of the field, decided to intercept it on the fly and not control the ball in order to have a go. Some time later, already in the 38th, a centre shot by Orbaiz wasn’t able to be pushed towards the back of the net by Llorente, who what’s more has injured himself again in the painful zone of recent weeks.

Nothing more but nothing less could be had from the first half. Now back on the field after the warmth of the locker room and without any changes to the line up, the prevailing trend was maintained with a slight variation, seeing that the ball possession belonged more to Osasuna, giving the impression that this was conceded voluntarily by the Red-Whites. Camacho was, at around one hour into the game, the first to make his move with Portillo stepping in for Juanfran, changing his team’s format from an initial 4-2-3-1 format to a 4-4-2 one with Masoud on the right wing, Camuñas on the other and the newcomer to the field alongside Dady in offence. It was Portillo precisely who had caused a rupture in Athletic’s defence with a pass behind in the 66th minute, but the ball was saved by Iraizoz. The only threats to follow were some long-distance shots at goal and a couple of weak headers caught easily by our goalie, who did not have too much to do, well it’s also fair to admit that, since the restart, Ricardo spent most of the time doing warm ups due to his inactivity.

Lacking in goal-scoring opportunities, the substitutions took main stage. De Marcos replaced Llorente in the 73rd minute and five minutes later Muniain substituted Yeste and this is how he was able to celebrate his 17th birthday by playing at San Mamés, well the best part was the birthday greetings from the stands.

And without any excitement nor opportunities to sink ones teeth into, the visiting supporters, lacking in any joy of their own, once again began shouting out aloud their complexes surrounding our sporting philosophy, a practice so legitimate as it is widespread in our environment. As they had scored no goals, half a loaf is better than none.

Camacho sent Calleja and Vadocz in for Nekounam and Oier, injured after colliding with Toquero who was shown a yellow card, meanwhile the worsening drone “They’re not from Lezama, they’re from Tajonar”. It is supposed that yesterday they were referring to, for example and because there’s no other players from there, Orbaiz and Javi Martínez, Red-Whites today who in the past had belonged to Club Atlético Osasuna. Two professionals proud to be part of Athletic Club voluntarily and Athletic Club who are equally proud of having them in their ranks, because in case someone doesn’t know, how tiring!, our philosophy implies, with all its pros and cons, its good decisions and its errors when putting this philosophy into practice, that Athletic is nourished by Basque players born in any of the present provinces in existence, players from our own junior reserves or players who have received training at other Basque clubs.

Having said this, and based on the fact that each club is master of its own destiny and of its actions, the free market permits each entity to contract whoever they like within the territorial limits stipulated in the regulations – maximum number of players from non-European community countries etc.-, better than harping on about this it would be better for them, and this is nothing more than some advice full of the Christmas spirit, to practise the art of “seeing beyond ones own ideas” and to count, simply out of curiosity, their number of local players and their number of foreigners that they cheer on and then they can shout off the top of their lungs once they know what they are talking about “They’re not from xxxx -insert a place- , they’re fromTajonar”, a prolific players’ reserve then again and where, without a doubt, laudable work is being done.

On the other hand, and now back on the San Mamés lawn, Caparrós sent, with only five minutes left to the game, Gabilondo to take over from Toquero, with the attacking pair made up of Muniain and De Marcos, who had been playing on the left wing after Yeste’s departure. The match went along uneventfully because of the course marked by Athletic and the seconds passed by with apparent coldness in an evening where the outcome had been ratified already in the 11th minute. Twenty-six points in the standings, which means there’s only another sixteen points needed that will lead us down the road of peace of mind. To draw the year to a close, our team have demonstrated that they can also triumph at home with effectiveness and a cool head which go hand in hand. We hope that the year 2010 will be just as satisfying for us.