Athletic could have gone 2-0 up, but Paulista equalised with a header for Valencia
Athletic Club drew 1-1 with Valencia CF at San Mamés on Sunday afteroon.
The Lions took the lead shortly before half-time when Valencia defender Hugo Guillamon scored an own goal from winger Jon Morcillo‘s cross. Athletic had several chances to go 2-0 up after the restart, most notably via attacking-midfielder Oihan Sancet, but the Rojiblancos couldn’t find a way past Jaume Domenech.
Oihan could have killed off the match in the 52nd minute, when he shot directly at Domenech from point-blank rage. In the 65th minute, defender Gabriel Paulista got the equaliser, scoring a header from a corner.
The Rojiblancos currently sit in 10th place in LaLiga Santander. The Lions have lacked luck against Valencia this season, drawing both matches. For this particular fixture, Marcelino was forced to ring the changes due to injuries, suspensions (Raúl García) and the neeed to rest players ahead of Thursday’s Copa semi-final.
There were few clear chances in the first half. Athletic winger Alex Berenguer threatened early on, as did Valencia’s Maxi Gómez, but opportunities were far and few between.
The deadlock wasn’t broken until the 43rd minute. Goalkeeper Unai Simón launched a counter-attack with a massive throw to the feet of Morcillo who whipped a fierce cross into the box and Guillamon, with Iñaki Williams at his back, inadvertently put the ball into the back of his own net.
A goal up, Athletic came out all guns blazing in the second half, with three glorious chances in the space of five minutes.
First, striker Iñaki Williams and Sancet linked up well in a counter-attack which saw the former surge into the area before side-footing wide.
Next up, young midfielder Unai Vencedor had plenty of space in the box when he missed the target with a header from Morcillo’s cross and four minutes later Sancet had his shot.
Valencia started to gain ground and Paulista tucked away a header from Carlos Soler’s cross.
Meanwhile, Valencia also could have found a second, Patrick Cutrone scuffing a shot at the end of a counter-attack.
It felt like a win would have been a fair result for Athletic, so just the one point is slightly disappointing.
But the show goes on. In four days, San Mamés hosts Levantes as Athletic look to secure their place in a second consecutive Copa Del Rey final.