Athletic Club - Real Valladolid
Matchday 25

Athletic Club - Real Valladolid

Athletic Club
Athletic Club
Real Valladolid
Real Valladolid
  • 27'37' Toquero

LocationSan Mamés , Bilbo

Firm at San Mamés to reach the forty-point mark

Athletic Club 2 Valladolid 0Athletic Club defeated Valladolid by 2-0 thanks to the two goals…

Athletic Club

Athletic Club 2 Valladolid 0

Athletic Club defeated Valladolid by 2-0 thanks to the two goals scored by Toquero in the first half. With this match it’s now five the number of consecutive victories in the League obtained by our team at San Mamés and the second consecutive match in which no goals have been scored against us. With still thirteen duels left till the end of the championship, the Red-Whites are still just one point away from the European qualifying positions and have double the points than the second and third last teams in the relegation spots. Therefore, after winning the home game at La Catedral (The Cathedral), the team had to go for broke to reach the 40 magical point mark, for the time being the team will be travelling to Gijon on Saturday with a license to dream, although there’s still a third of League left to be played.

In order to reach this round figure, Athletic overcame the prevailing cold on and off the pitch. Pucela’s team are in a difficult situation, with only five points from salvation and ever since Mendilibar was dismissed they have not won a single match, and just like what happened prior to the matches against the visiting teams of Xerez and Tenerife, it is not easy to settle the score against those who are in a ditch, more than anything because everything that is not a victory has an aroma of failure.

In fact Valladolid were clearly dominating, but only during the first five minutes. Later, especially as a result of the counter move by Llorente who then passed the ball to Gabilondo who wasn’t able to finish it off, things were even. Onésimo’s team have been defined by Onésimo himself as a light team, but at the start of the match they didn’t give the impression of coming to the Cathedral on excursion. In our lines emphasis was placed on trying to take the ball in play, especially by means of San José, but the Violet pressure was good, but they did not have the magic formula to create danger and as you know in football if there are no goal scoring opportunities the road is short and barren.

Almost as if by magic, the goal scoring opportunities appeared for the Red-Whites. Shortly after the coach had ordered Gabilondo and Susaeta to change wings, the leftie was subject to a foul along with a winger in the area. His kick was finished off by Llorente with a header, but Justo Villar responded with a good save. Nevertheless, this time, at San Mamés the Athletic players began to overcome their fears. Especially Toquero, who finished off with a header, without much opposition, the ball finding the back of the net in the 27th minute as a result of the corner kick taken by Gabilondo previously.

Valladolid moved their lines forward, but this order came to nothing and their strength started to weaken after the tremendous effort made in the early minutes. On the contrary, Athletic Club could not lose their heads, and they did not. Moreover, despite it all, they went after the match to seal it. In the middle of such commendable determination, several of the age-old scenes could be observed that reflect the battle between going up at all cost and those who defend their right to choose ways and moments. To illustrate this point we need look no further than the sequence in which Orbaiz, without a clear passing line, chose to pass the ball to Iraizoz and had to listen to the reproaches of the most impatient spectators at San Mamés and then, in a few seconds, the move turned into a precise pass to Susaeta for the latter to face up to and beat Justo Villar, but his shot at goal sailed over the crossbar after having everything in his favour.

Fortunately the second goal came in a little while from a ball kicked by Orbaiz that was combed by Llorente for Toquero to make an entrance and who struck the ball with a clear toecap against Villar in the 37th minute.
The match was already a completely red-white affair and Valladolid can be thankful for not having another goal scored against them by the halftime break, seeing that in the 39th minute the combination of Iraola and Gabilondo made it possible for Iraola to sneak into Valladolid’s area and, just when it seemed that he was going to hammer away at the rival goalkeeper, he chose to pass it to Llorente for him to push it in, but a defender was able to deduce this intention.

At the beginning of the second half Onésimo sent Medunjanin to take Carlos Lázaro’s place. Valladolid tried to create danger, but the team to score was Athletic when Llorente finished off with a header from a pass by Gabilondo, however, one of the linesmen thought that the forward was in an incorrect position. Likewise Toquero could have scored a hat-trick, but Justo Villar caught the ball.

One hour into the game Muniain stepped in for a laden Llorente, another demonstration, if one is needed, that this week’s important match from a strictly sporting point of view was the one played earlier today by our team against Real Valladolid.

Meanwhile the first goal scoring opportunity in the match on behalf of the visitors came in the 62nd minute when Iraizoz caught a shot at goal kicked by Medunjanin. As for Gabilondo he took a foul kick with a lot of aim that was repelled by Justo Villar.
As for the rivals Bueno replaced Borja in the 66th minute, but the panorama did not change.

Athletic kept on being the lord and master of the contest, but as the third goal did not come the gate that football opens is too wide for an isolated move or a stroke of (bad) luck to open it completely. Iraola, from outside the area, finished off with a sharp shot from one of those great collective moves that, depending on the colour on the jersey of the players who execute them, has more or less media value, but Villar repelled it without difficulty, just like Iraizoz did in minute 71 from a shot by Bueno.

Iñigo Pérez had an opportunity to play by substituting Susaeta in the 74th minute, which meant that Gabilondo could go back to the right wing. On the other hand, Marquitos stepped in for Keko and David Lopéz stepped in for Gabilondo with two minutes still to go. The match had been sealed beforehand and time went by very calmly, the same peace of mind that any team can have when they’re on a good streak in the league at home and gives us the possibility of keeping the dream of qualifying for the European competition alive, nonetheless we mustn’t forget that for the time being we are out.