Valencia CF VS Athletic Club 10/23/2011 | Athletic Club’s Official Website
Matchday 09

Valencia CF1 : 1Athletic Club

8:00 PM
Date and time
10/23/2011 - 8:00 PM

Victory escapes us on the brink of 90′

Valencia 1 – Athletic Club 1 Athletic Club gained one point against Valencia CF when…

Oct 23, 2011

Valencia 1 – Athletic Club 1

Athletic Club gained one point against Valencia CF when they drew 1-1 in their visit to Mestalla. Iker Muniain scored for our team in the second half and in the last minutes of the match Soldado scored the equalizer.

It’s a pity that the match was decided in the 90th minute. Surely the judgment would have been more positive had we obtained the three points, but a more comforting analysis of what occurred tells us of the merit of having scored in the field of a team that each season, and almost always, comes ready to be an alternative to both.

What’s more, in addition to the pedigree of scoring, it somewhat pleases us of being faithful to that which is proposed with the logic limitations that both the rival and the imponderables imposed, yesterday in the way of injuries and the not so fortunate trio/quartet arbitration. In the end, we are going to settle with the fact that for four consecutive Liga matchdays we’ve scored (eight points altogether) which would be extended to six without losing if we add both European matches since we drew against Villarreal.

On the negative side, once again, we will find it in the injuries of some of our players (and also in the opponent’s side that of Canales) since Carlos Gurpegi was taken off the field on a stretcher after injuring his left knee and Fernando Llorente did not return to play after complaining of pain in the same joint. In the coming hours, especially with regards to the midfielder, further information will be offered.

Prior to the match it was said that the meeting in Mestalla was going to become a true thermometer of the state of the team and it’s possible to say that they have prevailed over the first of the demanding tests which they are going to have to overcome during the competition.

Let us say that the team’s sweet entrance onto the field didn’t exist (in the five first minutes Banega, Topal and Canales had clear attempts to score) and say that Athletic put their pressure in the end, as they looked for control of the game and in fact have been more effective than the rival when it came to sending the ball to the goal mouth, in other words, Guaita had much more work than Iraizoz.

Thus, even though the draw could have had a taste of deception, especially when they equalized, playing one on one in their own backyard and scoring against a team with founded aspirations is not easy, neither is it a bad result.

Just when the rojiblancos were awakening, the first attempt was for Llorente who, facing Guaita, shot on goal with his right a deep shot from Aurtenetxe, though it seemed more ‘natural’ to do so with his left. The next attempt seemed clearer. In fact it ended up in a goal, but the assistant ref didn’t see it as such, perhaps afraid of the rojiblanco’s looseness and with the eagerness to finish off.

It was around the minute 15 when a shot from the edge of the area by Muniain which Guaita was unable to block, Aurtenetxe finished it off within the area, but once again the goalie reappeared, although he couldn’t prevent Susaeta from pushing the ball into the net. The forward was way ahead when Muniain made his shot, but not when Aurtenetxe made his shot. Nothing we can do, right?

Soldado and Ruiz inaugurated the card give-away, while the rojiblancos lowered their degree of pressure, which has not been an obstacle to enjoy the next goal occasion, in this case after a centre by Iraola from the right and a header by Llorente that crashed onto the post and soon later on Guaita’s back. What would have been logical is that the ball bounces and enters, but the rebound came out and Miguel was able to deflect it.

Meanwhile Canales, due to an injury, was substituted by Piatti, a circumstance that didn’t benefit Athletic’s defence in excess, since the Valencia’s players duplicated their options and verticality down that wing.

Javi Martinez and Iraola were the next to be booked and when it seemed that we’d arrive at the break with relative ease in the 46th a clear shortcut by Iraizoz was finished off by Jonas as it came to him and the ball crashed onto the post to later be repelled with his foot by the goalie.

After the scare, to start the second half, a double substitution: Toquero in for Llorente and Gurpegi in for Iraola. However, for a while we thought that the boost of the first half would remain. Luckily after a deadly pass by Matheiu which was shot off target by Jonas, calm was recovered with a counterattack almost finished off by Toquero and Muniain and the replica reached Piatti’s left, who shot wide. However, what’s been most remarkable has been Gurpegi’s injury that had to yield his recently appointed position to Herrera. De Marcos was moved to the right wing.

Valencia slowly took control and until Muniain’s goal they demonstrated their best virtues. First Jonas shot wide; Banega to Iraizoz’s hands; Soldado and spectators requested a penalty while Soldado and Amorebieta struggled with their jerseys; Feghouli combed a header, but slightly off target. Shortly after this play he gave up his position to Pablo Hernandez. Even through those difficult times Athletic didn’t resign to anything.

In fact, a suitable pressure when the ball came into play caused Muniain to take advantage of an error of a delivery by Pablo Hernandez and his diagonal after dribbling past a couple of rivals was finished off with a shot far from Guaita’s reach. Nil to one and a quarter-hour left. Muniain himself had a second attempt, but his shot had no angle and Guaita sent it for a corner.

Emery substituted Jonas for Aduriz in the 77th and in the 83rd the former lion was unable to save an exit by Iraizoz. Now it was Herrera, Miguel and Iturraspe who were the victims of yellows and Banega shot high in the 86th. The worst was over, in theory, even the best of the evening, Ever Banega, connected from deep with Soldado who scored after saving Iraizoz.

Logic and almost ancestral customs of our team allow us to know of an end hung off the crossbar, but the Rojiblancos live far from Iraizoz and the end of matches near the rival’s backyard we certainly hope becomes a healthy tradition. In fact, in injury time, a short shot corner left Muniain in the area and instead of shooting on goal he passed it on to Toquero, but he was knocked down by Víctor Ruiz when he was ready to finish it off. And though it leaves a bitter sweet taste for the three points that could have been, it’s not so bad considering that on Thursday, in San Mamés, against another upcoming opponent, who is always dangerous as is Atlético Madrid.