Real Sociedad VS Athletic Club 10/2/2011 | Athletic Club’s Official Website
Matchday 07

Real Sociedad1 : 2Athletic Club

12:00 PM
Date and time
10/2/2011 - 12:00 PM

Liga opener in spite of rival, fatigue and heat

Real Sociedad SAD 1 – Athletic Club 2 Athletic Club defeated Real Sociedad SAD by…

Oct 2, 2011

Real Sociedad SAD 1 – Athletic Club 2

Athletic Club defeated Real Sociedad SAD by 1-2. Llorente scored both rojiblanco’s goals, one in each half and both with his feet, and Iñigo Martinez, from his own field, scored for the locals. The rojiblancos continue their run this past week, a draw against Villarreal and a win against PSG, to add their first Liga win, and at home, with justice after being superior in the general calculation, although the local team had their options to turn the result around in the first twenty minutes of the second half.

Our team totally faced up to our rival (six months without losing at home and its yearly derby), when the match began (it did so just 61 hours after the European match against PSG and with the players from Donostia not having played during the week) and the relevant heat (timetables are a doctoral thesis) to reaffirm itself as to what it does and how it does it, a good principle to target more ambitious goals.

After the victory comes a two week parenthesis without competition except for Llorente, Javi Martinez (depending on his progress) Amorebieta and Muniain, until we have a taste of the fixtures, dependant on television operators. Meanwhile, we hold a better qualifying position and more tranquillity to work.

After the daily spaghettis, Athletic came out in command, with their virtues and defects, but with a clear idea, to be the stars of the derby from the start, with game philosophy and because we needed to win as we need to eat to certify that things are improving. The team took the Kilometroak (“Klik”) motto seriously and was ready to ignite the switch of the good play.

In the second minute a tap by De Marcos, today again a midfielder, ran into Bravo’s hand, the rebound ended up at Llorente’s feet, but his shot on goal ended up hitting the post. Shortly after Gurpegi headed just over the crossbar and Athletic continued the initiative, although the team from Donostia positioned themselves closer together and the penetrations were more costly.

The temperature was around 30 degrees, somewhat more in the stands, and the thermal sensation didn’t mitigate that of the rojiblancos’ danger. A long shot by Zurutuza that ended up in corner and a header straight into Iraizoz’ hands in the latter serve have been first and the only danger by Real’s in the first half.

It didn’t seem as if the visitors were the rojiblancos. The ball circulated with patience on a turf a bit higher than customary and immediately the occasions returned to our team’s side. De Marcos, from a distance, made it easy for Bravo, who had it more difficult in the minute 24 when Muniain, sore but in the game, initiated a run from midfield and stood before the goalkeeper, who deflected his shot. Muniain himself shot against a defence and shortly after, in the 34th, Llorente once again found himself with the goal.

De Marcos, from the right, passed the ball to the centre of the area, the forward turned round and with the tip of his right foot shot the ball into net when the goalie was coming out; a well earned prize for the game that unfolded until then and tranquillity until the break.

As was anticipated, with fatigue as the second nearest threat, Real Sociedad has stretched and obtained, although without true danger, put our team back. With the loss of superiority in the midfield and the capacity to press the ball on the part of the centres and Illarramendi, the blanquiazules created a couple of semi-occasions, such as a high volley by Zurutuza, and another shot by the same player who was covered by yesterday’s centre Javi Martinez, besides demanding a penalty for Iñigo Martinez’ fall. Shortly after Athletic’s Martinez received the impact of Griezmann’s body and, while the stands called out for a trample, he was taken off the pitch on a stretcher before heading towards hospital. Luckily, everything has just been a hard blow and a scare.

Iturraspe came in for Gabilondo and in the latter mess Javi Martinez’ retirement, on the hour of play Iñigo Martinez took advantage of a neutral bounce to score a goal with his left from his own field. And as occurs in this type of fratricidal encounters, madness seized those latter moments. And that is fatal for our team. In fact it was during that time that Real Sociedad had, for the first and only time in the match, the sensation that they were scotch free.

Javi Martinez had ceded his position to San Jose and the modest man of the dreamed hat-trick, Griezmann, overtook Iraizoz’ exit, but luckily his shot hit the post. The latter centre brought about a header by Agirretxe and a great save by Iraizoz. And without further burdens, the hosts saw how the match returned to the dynamics of the first half, with a perhaps less forceful Athletic, but equally effective.

In the minute 70, ten after the draw, a long ball to Amorebieta and was passed to Llorente who finished it off with his right, to establish the definitive 1-2. There were still twenty minutes left, but Athletic was still in control, they achieved longer possessions and reacted well to Sarpong’s exits, by Zurutuza, and Joseba Llorente, for Griezmann. Also, with room and trying to surpass the generalized fatigue, they’ve enjoyed opportunities on the counterattack such as a shot by Llorente which Bravo blocked, another counterattack where De Marcos didn’t see Iraola all alone in the right and Toquero, who substituted Susaeta, enjoyed two attempts, one was blocked by a defence and another one by Bravo.

No more was needed because the result gave us three points which add up to five and leaves us out of the hole of the qualification. Such as has been reflected in the last few weeks, the sensations and the game were encouraging and, on the other hand, the discouraging mathematics. In the same way, we’ve said, and will say, that it is too soon to draw conclusions, so much for the good as for the bad.

And today, after the victory, we could say the same, although with points we are better off, but it’s too soon to set the bells ringing and when we could also experience shouts of ‘to Second Division’, dear not mention the rope at the home of a hanged man.

The Liga is quite long, for better or worse, and the television roulette holds us up to a double ration in San Mamés: another Derby on Monday, the 17th, at 21:00h and the European match against Salzburg 72 hours later. On top of the fatigue and other impediments, we hope that the results continue to accompany the game.