The lions took the lead through Muniain, but Diego Costa equalised two minutes later in a sad empty San Mamés
Athletic Club drew one all with Atlético in their return to LaLiga. The host team’s goal was scored when they were playing at their best, as a result of a run from behind made by Muniain. However, a little mistake -one of the very few they made- allowed Diego Costa to equalise the game two minutes later, in the 38th.
In an empty San Mamés, the lions -filled with a deep sadness for not having the chance to defend their colours in front of their supporters-, put their best foot forward and showed evidence of how hungry they are to qualify for the European competition, despite knowing the battle will be tough.
A humble tribute was paid to all the members and supporters who have died from nCoV. Captains Iker Muniain and Koke Resurrección laid two bunches of flowers on a black seat, an act followed by an emotional one-minute silence accompanied by a slow piano version of the club’s anthem. Athletic Club knows that playing does not make sense without their supporters, but it was their turn to give their best for them.
So Gaizka Garitano’s lads got down to business. Following an early scare that they were given after a one-on-one chance from Carrasco -missed by inches-, they starting to gain control of the game. A fine play between Muniain and Capa ended in a header that the former player sent straight to Oblak’s hands. The Slovenian keeper -who had already been a nightmare in their first league encounter this season, making an unbelievable save on an attempt from Iñigo Martínez- repeated the sequence after another header, this time from Yeray -who had been delivered a perfect cross by Munian.
However, there was nothing the visitor’s keeper could do to stop the first goal three minutes later, in the 36th, when Yuri got into the box and made an assist to Muniain, who put the ball in the net with a right-footed cross-shot. It was a pity the supporters could not be there to celebrate. But the most painful part came when Costa equalised just one hundred seconds later, from the center of the box, where he was alone.
Athletic kept controlling the game and, for a moment, on 60 minutes, the image of Yuri facing the goal in Granada was brought to the mind of the supporters, as it was the same situation as when the goal that gave us the passage to the longed-for final was scored. His strike, this time to the near post, ended up outside the net.
Both managers made substitutions and -among arguments over renown González González’s refereeing performance- Unai Simón made the second brilliant save of the match, stopping Arias’ close-range shot to the far post. These are the reasons why both Oblak and our goalkeeper are fighting for the Zamora Trophy -awarded to the goalkeeper with the lowest “goals-to-games” ratio – in LaLiga. On Wednesday, we will visit Ipurua to try to win a derby that will be quite different from the ones we are used to.