Real Sociedad 2 – Athletic Club 0 Athletic Club lost to Real Sociedad by 2-0….
Real Sociedad 2 – Athletic Club 0
Athletic Club lost to Real Sociedad by 2-0. Prieto, from penalty and San José, own goal, were the goalscorers in a match best forgotten as soon as possible.
After almost a four-year absence another of the derbies made a comeback to the arena and just like what happened in the visit our team paid to Real Madrid, a repeat in crowd capacity and maximum gate takings. As far as Anoeta is concerned, that’s the way it should be against a team presumably important to beat, and this is just what was confirmed with the hostile welcome received upon reaching the pitch, with stones thrown at our bus to boot, a situation that to date this season has no comparison. With this tag we must move on, because on the field of play and following the emotional pre-match activities, Athletic threatened but little else, against a host that limited themselves to getting ahead on the board when least expected and handling the rest of the match with good sense, helped, that’s true, by quite a few doses of red-white misfortune.
Unfortunately Real Sociedad weathered the storm of the first minutes, the script said otherwise and, to make things even more ridiculous, no sooner had the second half got underway when a rival goal scored by ourselves set the ideal scene that would deprive us of the three points in the standings. There was still lots of time, but Athletic’s impotence had teamed up with the local’s good defensive work.
What’s more, today was one of those days that Mikel San José could have thought that it would have been better if he had never gotten out of bed. If things had looked promising for the centre in the 2nd minute, when he finished off a corner with the left that Bravo had to clear to corner as a result. The truth is that as the minutes ticked on his particular panorama and, consequently, the panorama in general darkened.
The exchange of blows put forward by our team went hand in hand with a high pace, an open encounter and the ball closer to Bravo than Iraizoz. Gabilondo had a go in the 14th minute, but his shot went astray, whereas Real Sociedad were waiting unsuccessfully for the deep pass.
Nevertheless, their opportunity came unexpectedly, in the 24th minute when a header was intercepted by San José with his hand. A penalty that was converted by Prieto, but as he feinted in the lead-up, the referee ordered for the penalty to be repeated and in this case second time lucky.
Behind on the scoreboard Athletic did not change much, except when it came to stirring themselves up and getting carried away by the anxiety of wanting to equalize and the sooner the better. At least the match left no one indifferent. In the 31st minute Gurpegi’s shot at goal, a header, missed, just like Susaeta’s foul kick in the 32nd and just as Llorente’s shot at goal with the left did in the 37th minute.
The hosts were not overly lavish, though just after the corner taken by Griezmann that could not find anyone to finish it off; they had a goalscoring opportunity that was just what they needed to get even more ahead. Griezmann jumped up while Iraizoz was away from the small goal area and just when everything indicated that the referee was going to blow his whistle, even the crowd cheered after the shot at goal hit the post as if it had to do with a dispensable move, the ball went loose and Griezmann, completely alone, struck the goalpost.
A negative result at the break, but seeing the performance in the first half, it did not seem to be insurmountable. Nonetheless, in spite of our team’s offensively spirited commencement, the first local approximation ended in San José scoring against his own team. What a day! Toquero had already replaced Gabilondo and Muniain went from playing behind Llorente to playing on the left wing.
There was almost the entire second half still to go, but our team played away from home instead of being the guest of honour. Real Sociedad did not change their composure by a long shot and they seemed to be more at ease each time, without having a bellyful of keeping the balls, that Athletic had lost, away from us by any means and without blushing and, along the way, sow the seed of doubt in counterattack.
Griezmann’s direct kick was well repelled by Iraizoz, was the best goalscoring opportunity for the team from Donostia, besides a clear header that Llorente sent over the crossbar. Caparrós got the side-line players moving quickly, it was the 58th minute: Orbaiz stepped in for Aurtenetxe with Gurpegi on the right flank.
Our Llorente’s header went out, in the 63rd minute, and in the 72nd a cross sent in by Susaeta was not converted into a goal by Toquero miraculously. Then the following substitutions were made; Labaka who replaced Zurutuza and Iturraspe who substituted Javi Martinez, however, the dynamics of the match indicated that the forecast was already clearly a blue-white one.
Athletic did not throw in the towel, but played without much depth down the wings and with Llorente being surrounded by air, land and sea. Only Orbaiz with several long-distance shots at goal, one of which was deflected for a corner by Bravo, tried something different, however, Llorente had another go with a header, but he struck the ball too much.
And as if all of this were not enough, with all the substitutions having already been made, Iraola was in discomfort and had to leave his natural position as a forward to Toquero.
Besides losing this match best forgotten, Athletic no longer has a reputation for scoring a goal in each of its matches. This was not the best day to stop doing so, and we can’t even blame it on the southern wind or the state of the pitch. And to get back on the goalscoring track, next Sunday at San Mamés the sensation of the League, Espanyol.