Athletic Club VS RedBull Salzburg 10/20/2011 | Athletic Club’s Official Website
Matchday 03

Athletic Club2 : 2RedBull Salzburg

San Mamés
9:05 PM
Date and time
10/20/2011 - 9:05 PM

One more point to continue leading the Group Stage

Athletic Club 2 – FC Salzburg 2Athletic Club and Salzburg drew 2-2 in San Mamés….

Oct 20, 2011

Athletic Club 2 – FC Salzburg 2

Athletic Club and Salzburg drew 2-2 in San Mamés. Llorente (2) scored both goals for the rojiblancos in the second half. Wallner and Leonardo put the Austrians ahead in the first half. Our team held control of the ball, but lacked depth in the first half hour and had difficulty in the second half with a rival that was obviously and consciously safeguarding their back, at times enormously.

In spite of not winning a fourth consecutive victory, third in this competition, Athletic Club continues as leaders in this group and maintains a three point advantage with respect to the rest of teams after the draws between Slovan and PSG. The next meet will take us to Salzburg in fifteen days, but in the meantime we have to deal with three opponents in the Liga: Valencia, Atlético Madrid and Sporting.

In these cases we’ll have to pull out the manuals to say that, when it’s not possible to win, a draw is not so bad; more so if, in this case, when we see the results at the interval. Some may even see a glimpse of similarity with the match lost against Betis (2-3), especially since the disadvantage after having played 45 minutes was also two goals, but it was not the same.

For starters Athletic has been superior, Salzburg left the ball, possession and passageway for Ekiza to initiate the game from behind, but in the last meters it was a difficult organization to beat. Perhaps that sensation of superiority extended from the pitch to the cold stands, and players as well as spectators misunderstood that victory would come at the hands of a draftee called inertia. There was control, yes!, however, no opportunities; which is why concurrence was satisfied with lengthy shots by players such as, Muniain, De Marcos, Javi Martinez, Iturraspe… but with an identical end, the captain’s hands, those of Gustafsson.

And in that context Salzburg was gaining confidence and meters. It’s true that they only pulled off less than half a dozen complete offensive plays during the match, but their effectiveness has been worthy of study, and as proof are both goals scored by the team in the second half, on the contrary of our team, that did so in the first. Guided by the quality of their two better players, Wallner and Leonardo, both were enough to make the match more complicated.

In fact danger came at the hand of counterattacks. In the first Wallner was unable to overtake Iraizoz, in the minute 27, but two plays later an accurate pass from Leonardo was finished off into the net by the previously mentioned player. The attempt to respond ran into Fernando Llorente’s not-so-accurate day, except fortunately from the penalty point. With a header, he shot high in the 33rd, in the 35th, Leonardo scored a sweet point, if not for its rival, the second for his team, after a fast and vertical combination from midfield, to give way to a more expensive option for local 9, though his left went wide right near Gustafsson, while a later half turn also went wide. The rojiblancos set the game pace, but with deficiency, while the visitors offered order and two goals.

At the start of the second half, Ekiza stayed in the changing rooms and Gabilondo replaced him. Bielsa placed Martinez as a centre; Iturraspe was in charge of the kick off and Muniain was centred. In plain view was a more organized team and placed farther back. Perhaps that is why the first dangerous option came via two defenders, Aurtenetxe with his left that went wide and Amorebieta with also an off-target header.

Gustafsson was already bottled up in losing time when one of the night’s stars came onto the pitch, Lindgren, who substituted Scheimer. It was in the minute 58 and by the 60th he’d already been booked with a yellow. In our rows De Marcos was repositioned to the right flank after Herrera came in for Iraola in the minute 65.

In the 69th a penalty was called and Llorente, with all assurance, converted. Four minutes later a corner shot from Herrera was cut off with an obvious hand by Lingrend, who was sent off after being booked with a second yellow and protesting a possible shove by Amorebieta. Llorente scored easily after deceiving Gustafsson who gambled being sent off when struggling with Herrera after the goal. Perhaps thinking it was too much, he avoided another maximum punishment for Llorente.

Unfortunately, the Austrians closed up a bit more, which forced our team to retake in-depth shots, this time by Gabilondo and Herrera, although the most dangerous came from a shot by De Marcos which Gustafsson was there for the save and a couple of shots by Toquero, who had just substituted Susaeta, but his shots were off target. A generous effort with gunpowder and no wick, but that received an interesting dimension after the draw with Bratislava. Now the Liga returns with almost no pause and against a not so easy rival, Valencia CF.