Athletic Club fall 2-1 to Real on 83 minutes owing to a goal from an inspired Isak
It was a pity. Athletic, who have a huge opportunity ahead of them in the Copa fixture against Granada on Wednesday, fell to a 2-1 defeat at Reale Arena because of a goal scored by an inspired Isak on 83 minutes.
After the arduous work done by the largest part of the group who have played the fewest minutes this competition, the Lions were brought to their knees. Not only that, Dani García and Muniain were also suspended for the next appointment against Osasuna due to the cards they received. The latter was sent off for a slide tackle on Oyarzabal that was punished with a direct red card by the referee.
Athletic did not suffer too much in the first half, where the hosts only enjoyed a good chance from Portu that was well-cleared by Unai Simón. In return, Kenan threatened the goal with a soft shot, and Ibai slipped as he shot a ball with his left foot.
The game opened up completely when both managers decided to bring on their best strikers, Isak and Williams. The player from Sweden was a nightmare. He made an assist to Oyarzabal, who let the ball go past him when everything was in his favour. In a second attempt, a play initiated by Aihen and improved by Dortmund’s ex-player ended up in Portu scoring a goal.
Athletic responded with a brilliant counter-attack led by Muniain and Williams on 70 minutes, with a well-calculated pass from the latter to the space of the red-and-white forward, who outstandingly converted the equalizer. The attempt to take the kick-off to resume the game when the red-and-white players where still celebrating the goal in the other half of the pitch, prompted by Remiro, was a rather bizarre situation.
The blow for the Lions came on 83 minutes, when Januzaj made an assist to Portu and his pass to Isak ended up in a goal on the rebound, as Simón had made a great save after his first shot. It was a shame that a counter-attack play seconds before, carried out by Muniain and Williams, could not be finished off because Iñaki left the ball behind. The rest of the match was just a futile attempt to score. The only positive was the rest taken by the footballers who are meant to play against Granada, and that the goal average is favourable to the Lions in case there is a final tie between Real and Athletic.