Athletic Club 2-Real Sociedad 0 Athletic Club imposed 2-0 over Real Sociedad and is fourth…
Athletic Club 2-Real Sociedad 0
Athletic Club imposed 2-0 over Real Sociedad and is fourth in the table in absence of one match to close the day of league on Monday. Susaeta was the author of the two goals and also shot the football against the crossbar. Red-and-whites clearly dominated the first time and their advantage fell short. In the first beats of the second half donostiarras improved their performance. A football shot by Vela even passed over the goal line but the referee considered it was not a goal. In the home straight, our team took up the lead of the match again and Susaeta’s second goal after a free kick left the competition ready to seal the victory and the points stayed at home, as it has happened for the last weeks. Finally, once homework has been done, Manchester peeps over the horizon.
As the programmers decided to set the game sometime between lunch and dinner, or maybe due to this, had at least the ingredients a derby deserves, such as excitement, goals, rain, rhythm, hard game at times, goings and comings and its discussion portion tending to controversy and a similar outcome to all matches played in the Cathedral from 2001 till today, that’s to say, victory from Athletic Club. It’s clear, and statistics show so, that someday this victorious run will finish. Don’t mention it. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy it.
The minutes this week were the Statutes, its adaptation and reform and, what’s more, the tickets for Manchester. In that context, those who weren’t completely aware of what Athletic put into practice during the current season will wonder whether our team’s thoughts were already set in Manchester. And they got the answer at the end of the competition and through many rounds of it: 2-0 and keep on looking up. This is a result that serves to consolidate tendencies. The winners in order to try to finish in the fifth position, to pass the preliminary UEL rounds or beyond and the defeated in order to stay relaxed away from relegation positions.
The first half corroborated where the main thought of the team was. A balanced first quarter of an hour with a smooth header from San Jose caught by Bravo took place and then, we had an interesting long distance pass from Muniain to Susaeta where the goalkeeper proved to be faster. As time went by, under a heavy rain, the game leaned against the visitors. Athletic’s transitions, fast and numerous, were a reply to long-distance balls sent by Bravo or by the central defenders to the right in search of Prieto or Zurutuza’s heads.
In minute 24 things went worse for donostiarras when a precious collective move started and finished by Susaeta has spoiled the visitors’ resistance. 1-0 was scored and there was a better perspective to attack. Real Sociedad’s attempt to react was limited to a free kick by Xabi Prieto which ended in corner and to a right foot kick by Griezmann blocked by Iraizoz twice.
Bravo had more work than usual and even they were lucky because the referee didn’t send Zurutuza off after his tackle on Herrera in minute 33. Mateu, the referee, is like that. He allows the players to play leaving the game on its own meanwhile he redesigns the landscape of the game considering that applying the rules strictly may bring problems. And during the second half the same thing happened.
Before that, Susaeta in minute 39 and after a try to serve the foul in short decided to be straight and slammed the ball into the crossbar. After that , the ball bounced off Bravo’s back for a corner. From that moment on Susaeta encouraged himself to do the same for the rest of the match and as we saw we will have a brilliant free-kick launcher for the following weeks. Javi Martínez laboriously volleyed the ball with his left foot into Bravo’s hands in minute 42 and by the end of the first half Athletic did three in one after a genuine run by De Marcos. His smooth cross straight into Llorente’s head who headed the ball and Bravo repelled it. Besides Bravo also avoided the subsequent shot- try by Muniain and the ulterior Susaeta’s kick.
On the contrary, at the beginning of the second half Real Sociedad tried to play more monopolizing the game and so, in minute 47 Vela shot at the net from a near position. Iraizoz took the ball out on the same line and only after watching the replay it can be said that the ball had crossed the line. Whatever it happened the game went on at the request of the referee and the linesman and in the following counterattack De Marcos’s crossing pass was wasted despite the numerous number of red-and-white attackers.
Despite everything the visitors were cozier with Vela as a reference for their offensive play than with Agirretxe who was far more static. Thus, in minute 52 he shot outside and in minute 54 he kicked the ball with his left foot being the ball repelled by Aurtenetxe. In minute 59 and due to a clear offside a goal was disallowed to Camaduro and little by little Athletic started to get recovered. Muniain counterattacked and provoked a corner kick and shortly after Toquero substituted Llorente.
Amorebieta received a doubtful yellow card and shortly before the 2-0 visitors asked for a second card after a jump with Prieto. Before that, Iraola crossed an inner pass to De Marcos who shot hard and the ball went slightly over the crossbar. In minute 70 Muniain couldn’t connect a kick to a ball coming from his right side.
Agirretxe had already substituted Aranburu , Pérez to Herrera and shortly after Pardo did the same with Zurutuza. Then, Real Sociedad had his last opportunity to draw the match by means of a hard low shot kicked by Agirretxe which was repelled by Gorka who in the following shot by Griezmann managed to send the ball off the corner line. At this stage of the game, Athletic was best administering his ball possessions and when in minute 80 Susaeta brilliantly scored after a free kick, Real Sociedad finally gave up.
Now yes we are on the eve of the appealing yet difficult European appointment with Manchester United. It is time to enjoy, especially for those thousands of red-and-white supporters who will gather there, without forgetting that there we have the chance to play the quarter-final.