Yesterday’s defeat at El Sadar was unacceptable. Athletic, threatened by what was at stake, did not know how to rise to the occasion. Valverde, with many and important casualties in his ranks, also missed the key. Neither before, nor during another game where Arrasate ended up winning game and game.
The doors of Europe have been opened wide for Athletic after the results of the last two days of the league before their visit to El Sadar. None of the direct rivals had added three before the clash at the Rojillo stadium. Osasuna are also ahead of them with the chance to wrest seventh place, a place that gives them the right to be in the Conference next season, from the lions.
Valverde’s men, to be precise, arrive at Iruña in seventh position after beating Celta on Saturday in San Mamés and losing Osasuna when they visit Atlético de Madrid. Both Girona and Sevilla squandered their chances to overtake the Bilbao men in the table. The Catalans drew on Tuesday at Vigo (1-1) and Mendilibar’s men did the same on Wednesday at home to relegated Elche (1-1). The people from Elche, already relegated, visit San Mamés on Sunday.
Athletic, in other words, is seventh with three days to play with 50 points, which means a point advantage over Girona and Sevilla (49); three against Osasuna and Mallorca (47), who beat Valencia yesterday, and four against Rayo (46), who just lost to Real Madrid. And most of all, they rely on themselves to go to the Conference. The outlook after the 2-0 defeat at El Sadar changed. The rojillos have usurped his position.
From failure to failure
The lions return to the rojillo stadium after their cupbearer disappointment. A 1-0 loss in their last visit, in the first leg of the KO tournament semifinals, ended in a draw. Arrasate made four changes yesterday compared to that cup clash. Valverde, three. Paredes, Zarraga and Nico Williams took the places of the injured Iñigo Martínez, Dani García and Nico Williams.
Osasuna was almost the same team that night in the KO tournament. The rojillos are loyal to a very specific proposal that happens, above all, to maintain stability in the back. Athletic, on the other hand, continues to suffer from blanket syndrome. When Valverde’s men cover their feet, they expose their heads and vice versa. A bit of a problem.
Source: La Verdad
I am Shawn Partain, a journalist and content creator working for the Today Times Live. I specialize in sports journalism, writing articles that cover major sporting events and news stories. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to be accurate and insightful in my work.