Athletic was controlling the game thanks to a great goal scored by Villalibre after a textbook move, but Raúl de Tomás equalized during a scramble
Athletic Club drew one-all at Cornellà in a match where they had almost secured their victory. But they let it go after a scramble in which Raúl de Tomas got the ball and found the back of the net, equalizing Villalibre’s opening goal, his first one as a Lion in LaLiga. This result is the red-and-white side’s fifth draw in a row.
Gaizka Garitano opted to keep the three central midfielders system with which they had obtained such good results at Santiago Bernabéu at Sánchez Pizjuán to keep a tight rein on Calleri and Raúl de Tomas. In addition, Athletic have wingers such as Capa and Yuri who can be sent to attack. The plan was worked to perfection in the first half, where the hosts were a nervous wreck. Muniain was feeling really comfortable in his attacking midfielder position.
Villalibre, who is patiently growing with giant steps, timely scored his first league goal. He had already contributed with his brace at Las Llanas. It happened on 11 minutes, after a well-worked corner routine. Muniain took a short corner for Williams and, with a give-and-go, sent the ball to Villalibre, who got past Víctor Sánchez to beat Diego López with a left-footed shot. It had been a long time since we last scored after a textbook move. It was well welcomed.
Athletic were playing comfortably, with Yuri causing trouble to Melendo on the wing. A venomous cross from Berchiche was diverted by his marker and ended up hitting the post. Villalibre was there for the rebound too, but could not finish it off.
The second half was still ahead of them. Athletic continued giving the impression of being more than their rivals. Williams sent a weak shot to Diego López’s hands and, a minute before the 1-1 goal. Villalibre did not manage to convert a counter attack launched by Muniain. The draw was a real blow, there has been no way of defeating Espanyol so far in the 21st century. We must focus now in our visit to Tenerife in the Copa.