RC Deportivo VS Athletic Club 5/10/2011 | Athletic Club’s Official Website
Matchday 36

RC Deportivo2 : 1Athletic Club

A Coruña
8:00 PM
Date and time
5/10/2011 - 8:00 PM

From heaven to hell and, once more, it’s time to wait

Deportivo 2 Athletic Club 1Athletic Club were beaten by Deportivo by 2-1 and could not…

May 10, 2011

Deportivo 2 Athletic Club 1

Athletic Club were beaten by Deportivo by 2-1 and could not take the definite step forward in certifying their participation in the next edition of the Europa League. Toquero, soon after the kick off, scored our teams’ only goal and two other Red-Whites scored the other two, Gurpegi in the first half when trying to deflect Adrián’s shot at goal, and Castillo in the second, on this occasion when sending the ball to the back of his own team’s net also as a result of Adrián’s pass to the centre, thus providing Deportivo with two goals. In the first half Athletic played a more than acceptable game but a much worse one in the second half.

Pending the results of the other matches of this round, with special attention to the Sevilla and Espanyol matches, our team are still in fifth spot and in the worse scenario could end up sixth and as a reward virtually qualify for the Europa League if those from Cornellá-El Prat lose against Valencia. There are only two matches left and the initial aim of being in the top seven is still attainable and, if this is achieved, the subsequent aim would be to end up fifth or sixth in order to avoid a prior eliminatory (see annexed information on this very same webpage).

The negative aspect of the game was that Carlos Gurpegi won’t be available to play due to the accumulation of bookings and the positive was the reappearance in the Premier team of Ibai Gómez, this time with no mishaps whatsoever. A match with a lot of tension in the air, something that could be felt throughout the entire day, and the truth is that the locals can give thanks in part for their triumph, obviously the truth of the matter can be found on the pitch, to the support they received from the stands. Perhaps a similar ambience during other encounters would have avoided their suffering of late, and today’s match for them was similar to the one we experienced five years ago.

Fortunately our problems are now minor compared to back then with regards to the tension and what’s more gratifying this time is the reward. The Red-Whites affronted the encounter without any stage fright at all, even though the environment was one of the hottest ones away from home in the last decade. A match, when all is said and done, to enjoy the essence of the ambience that surrounds football and to grow in experience as well. Those who had affronted the match were the same ones as those who did last Saturday, except San José and Orbaiz, whose spots were taken by Amorebieta and Gurpegi, respectively.

The start of the match could not have been better for Athletic’s interests, despite the fright due to the attempt to confuse the referee who imposes the most pace in the league. Almost by accident, Toquero scored our only goal with his right, when Aranzubia made an attempt to step forward, and thus finishing off Iraola’s pass. The following goalscoring opportunities also belonged to Athletic, with a shot at goal by Toquero that was caught by the former red-white goalie and Iraola whose shot was deflected.

The local squad lost a thousand and one battles against the ref while trying to apply the pressure and Athletic moved the ball around well, with more verticality. At times Deportivo gave the impression that they were slightly off, but our team could not come up with the final blow. The Galicians increased the pressure and their dangerousness based on a triangle formation consisting of Guardado, Galerón and Adrián and now Athletic did not move the ball about so freely. And what’s more, in football as well as the game and state of mind, sometimes the most insignificant details can change things around in a match and in today’s this was no exception.

Deportivo were confined to Aranzubia’s area but in the 22nd minute after a local corner kick, a Red-White player stuck his foot in to try to steal the ball, but the ball reached the dominions of Adrián and his shot bounced off Gurpegi and found the back of the net. The attempt to react came soon enough, but Llorente’s header struck the crossbar. Once again there was equilibrium on the pitch, however, in the dying stages of the first half a centre by Adrián also struck the crossbar of the goalmouth defended by Iraizoz.

Few novelties at the start of the second half with no substitutions having been made, Deportivo also insisted on doing the same as in the first half, however, this time they opted for giving orders right from the start and reached the rival area more intensely. Despite it all, the only highlights were Riki’s great shot at goal with the right that was repelled by Iraizoz, a shot at goal by Juan Rodríguez that was deflected, Javi Martínez’s chip shot under pressure and another fright in the 63rd minute but this time for the local parish by way of a feint that almost ended up in them scoring on our behalf, following a corner.

Iturraspe was already on the pitch to take over from the cautioned Gurpegi when all this took place and later Gabilondo stepped in for David López. Munian had already spent a long time on the right wing in an attempt not to wear him out, seeing that Deportivo tried to penetrate almost always down Athletic’s left wing, but the hosts were no longer the same, and what’s worse we can’t even accuse our team of being overly conservative. In fact the goal came about from a local counterattack move that left our defenders way behind when following a pass, for the umpteenth, between Valerón’s lines, Adrián centred the ball in an attempt to beat Iraizoz who had stepped forward and Castillo sent the ball to the back of the net. Unfortunately, this season the stats concerning Athletic scoring against themselves have been steady. The doubt was whether Riki would have made it in time to score the goal!

Immediately afterwards, Ibai was sent in to replace Javi Martínez and on behalf of the sanctioned Lotina, Aythami was sent to take over from Juan Rodríguez and a bit later Lassad replaced Adrián, the goalscorer/instigator. Deportivo could see the First Division horizon getting closer and started to wave their arms about. In our ranks Gabilondo, Muniain and Ibai played inside leaving space for the wingers and in one of their approaches Castillo kicked the ball to the centre of the area and from there Toquero had a go but the ball just missed leaving the team, another week more, condemned to wait for their qualification for the European championship. Let’s see if on Sunday against Málaga we can make it in front of a crowd that we do not need to ask anything special from apart from the support that they naturally give us during all of our matches.

Nevertheless, perhaps unaccustomed, Deportivo’s players and coaches, today, have experienced in flesh and blood the importance of feeling the support from beginning to end, something that is appreciated. A nice spectacle, it’s a shame that Athletic as guests were unable to seal the match in the first half and who later experienced for themselves the strength that necessity provides.