Málaga CF - Athletic Club
Matchday 17

Málaga CF - Athletic Club

Málaga CF
Málaga CF
Athletic Club
Athletic Club
  • 48' Weligton
  • Llorente (p.) 78'

LocationLa Rosaleda , Málaga

Malaga 1 – Athletic Club 1

Malaga and Athletic Club have drawn at one in La Rosaleda. Weligton put Malaga ahead…

Athletic Club

Malaga and Athletic Club have drawn at one in La Rosaleda. Weligton put Malaga ahead with a header from a Duda free kick at the start of the second half. Later Llorente, from a penalty, scored the rojiblanco goal. A deserved tie, perhaps short due to the number of occasions our team had in the second half, and the reaction capacity exhibited in a very hard and disputed game, aggravated by the weather and the condition of the playing field.

To be quite honest the beginning was not as expected and it was Malaga who seemed to adapt better to the circumstances. Practically in the first play and after going after a ball Iraizoz slipped and slid… out of the playing field…, though more than one took it as a bad omen. Once back in, to increase negative sensations, a practiced corner was culminated by Mtiliga with a hard shot from outside the area that crashed into the post and after the melee in the small area was finally cleared by the defence. Fortunately, the passing of the minutes brought enormous doses of balance and distribution of occasions, a phase in which, with time, more opportunities accumulated than should have.
Toquero shot a volley that went high and Apoño, as a result of the card seen by San Jose, shot the free-kick wide. Malaga, with all their urgency and their role as host, carried the weight, but nothing else.

In that sense Athletic was more practical. At the quarter hour a cross by Iraola was headed wide by Susaeta, although the clearest attempt arrived in the minute 22 after Llorente set up the ball with his chest, Toquero finished off with the left as the ball came to him and, after getting past Munúa, the ball hit the post; a real shame. And from that point and until the interval neither team was able to create any other opportunities to fill their lamentation notebook. They did however offer a high paced game, parallel to imprecision, with the desire to move up top and great doses of merciless fights, something that had been forecast during the week and a lot of wearing down, a circumstance the hosts noticed more in the second half.

As if it was a travelling tradition of Athletic, the interval was reached with a goalless draw. In the changing rooms each coach made his move. Ours replaced the debilitated Iraola with David Lopez, placing him on the left and changing Susaeta to the right, which placed Gurpegi in the right back. For Malaga, Valdo came on for Fernando, with no further position adjustments.

And from one rojiblanca tradition to another custom that seems to have installed itself in 2010. Third minute of play in the second half and as had already happened in Palma, the rivals score a goal. At least this time it hasn’t been from a rebound, but it’s worth the same. After an innocent foul, a cross by Duda to the heart of the area and Weligton easily scored the header. Perhaps he was offside, however the speed of the action made the referee and assistants’ work difficult.

It was time to react and this, fortunately, took place shortly after. The first of several Athletic Club options arrived in the minute 55 when a shot from outside the area by San Jose was cleared short by Munúa, however Susaeta, who was running toward it all alone, shot off target. In the 61, he was replaced by De Marcos. David Lopez changed to the right and the recently incorporated to the left.

Although the initiative was totally rojiblanca, the goal did not arrive. Yet, the opportunities in our favour accumulated slowly but surely. In the 65 a header by Javi Martinez was saved with a perfect stretch by Munúa and in the later play the goalie found himself almost on the line and with a ball between his legs that, in the struggle with Llorente, a teammate brushed. He later blocked, without problems this time, from a distant shot by Martinez.

In order to use up all possible substitutions, in the minute 69 Caparrós decided on Muniain instead of Orbaiz, and Muñiz introduced Toribio for Benachour with the intention of fortifying the midfield. The change in our rows meant a new positional remodelling for several players since Toquero and De Marcos played behind Llorente, Muniain in the left and only David Lopez stayed on the right, with Javi Martinez as the only pivot; an offensive sketch to try to avoid the second consecutive away loss.

That’s where we were when a cross by Javi Martinez into the area has brought about holding by Iván González on Llorente and the referee conceded the penalty. The forward himself materialized the penalty, not without Munúa guessing the side right and even got to touch the ball. The experts, editorials, and highly spoken analysts on the subject at issue could give their opinion, no more, no less, that on the eve of the mother of all stories. A luxury!

Draw at just twelve minutes to regulation time and the turn for the locals with Edinho instead of Juanito and a game equally contested, but with more openings. Malaga looked mainly down its left wing in search of the miracle of Duda, and its fans, besides insulting Gurpegi on repeated occasions, cheered, not without reason, each foul as if it were half a goal. Despite it all, Athletic Club defended well and, on a par with the rival, it looked for the treasure in strategy, since it lacked the necessary boldness in some counter strikes. Even Muniain enjoyed a last option in injury time, but Munúa once again successfully made the save.

Finally, one point added to the table and an end to the short streak of defeats, just one, and awaiting what is without a doubt the most-longed-for-match of each season. Second-ranked Real Madrid arrives, for the last home match of the first leg and all the ingredients are served for a more than attractive clash.