Athletic were vastly superior to Celta, but had to make do with a draw because of a lack of scoring
Athletic Club drew one-one with Celta in the first match held at San Mamés in 2020. It was an unrewarded gale of chances for the red-and-white side, with plenty of scoring attemps. And it could have been worse, since a goal from Rafinha gave the team from Vigo the lead and the equalizer did not arrive until the 76th minute, from a penalty-kick. It was a lost opportunity, but Gaizka Garitano’s lads gave a good impression and they are a point closer to the European spots due to their competitors’ defeats.
The Lions started powerfully. By the 10th minute, they had already posed a great threat to Rubén Blanco, with scoring attempts from Iñigo Martínez, Raúl García, Yuri and Dani García, and almost forced an own-goal after a cross from Williams. The referee, Medié Jiménez, who had got on the Red and White’s nerves at Balaídos, started showing cards, one after another… Iago Herrerín, who has made his debut in LaLiga this year, made a fine save from Lucas Olaza on one of the few chances the visitors had, and he stopped a header from Rafinha.
Yuri tried it again with a left-footed shot that Rubén cleared into corner and Muniain had the clearest chance when he headed the ball after a well calculated cross from Capa, hitting the goalie. It was a shame he could not get a goal in his 400th match as a Lion. Immediately after that, Celta missed a great chance. Iago Aspas, after running into the box, sent the ball towards ex-Valencia player Santi Mina, who shot off target when everything was in his favour.
Athletic assumed full control of the game in the second half. Yuri launched a magnificent chip that Rubén stopped and Williams had no luck with a ball coming from a free-kick. In a counter-attack launched by the side from Vigo, Rafinha scored the 0-1 with his magical left foot. The Lions kept on with their game, they did not lose control. Muniain forced a penalty when Fran Beltrán hit the ball with his hand and Raúl García had no mercy. Athletic was deservedly about to break the tie in injury time, with chances from Villalibre and Raúl García. It is annoying to get a third draw in a row because of how much it slows us down, but the team are playing really well and have plenty of energy. It is now turn to look at the Copa fixture in Elche. Go for it!