The Athleticwinner of the long-awaited summer derby against Real Sociedad for a close but deserved 1-0 with a goal from Mikel Vesga, he is ready to grit his teeth in the exercise to come. The sixth edition of Euskal Herria Tchapela, Called to serve as a dress rehearsal for the rojiblancos and the txuri-urdines in view of the imminent start of La Liga, it has become a demanding and valuable litmus test in which, however, neither Ernesto Valverde nor Imanol Alguacil have shown all their cards . Although the two teams started with fairly recognizable formations, it cannot be said that either coach opted for their respective gala XI in a competitive match that did not lack intensity from the initial whistle.
the inhabitants of Bilbao, without Inigo Martinez, they posed on the Lasesarre green with Vivian and Yeray as their central pair in a tactical 1-4-2-3-1 pattern with a tendency to 1-4-3-3 that had Lekue and a recovered and active Berchiche on the wings with Iru in goal. Vesga, the midfielder chosen by Valverde to hold the center of the field, played the role of anchor and improvised scorer in a spinal cord supplemented by a dynamic Zarraga and a lucid Sancet in a hanging position, while the offensive plot was commanded by Iñaki Williams and Berenguer on the flanks and Raúl García as spearhead.
The Bilbao side didn’t lack attacking bite in a remarkable first half that had a clear rojiblanco color and both ends as exceptional players within the group. Iñaki, a constant threat starting from the outside to make an impact inside in the finish area, once again produced a remarkable individual performance as part of a forward line in which he also stood out . a tonic Berenguer. The Navarrese, with a big spark in a summer in which he moved to the side to claim the left wing, is precisely the one who took advantage of the derby’s first scoring opportunity after signing a good play individual that he defined with a cross shot from the front of the area that did not find a goal from a few centimeters.
The ball belonged to Real, but the verticality and the chances were provided by Athletic, well organized in the pressure without the ball and with a sharp fang in the deployment after stealing to take maximum advantage of a rival who, after having received several in-form warnings from Iñaki’s forays down the right, he was down on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute of the match. Vesga, by painting with his head a distant free kick launched by Berenguer, opened the scoring to raise the decibels at Lasesarre and put the icing on a solvent showmanship that nullified Real, insignificant in attack in the first 45 minutes in which Sancet and Zarraga also knocked on the door of the goal, but without success.
Problems for Raúl García and Yeray
The good taste in the mouth, Valverde took the way to the locker room to plan a second act which began with the entrance to the Paredes field as a replacement for a Yeray cap. Five minutes after the resumption came the second negative note of the evening in the form of a physical setback. Raúl García, with soleus problems in his right leg, He fell to the ground and asked for change, giving way to Nico Williams. Ten days after his La Liga debut, both are still expected to be able to start the season on the pitch, although the Navarrese raised the alarms first and awaits developments.
Athletic, meanwhile, without the spark of the first half, tried to short a Real side who tried to step forward in search of Iru’s goal and had two clear chances to even the score by Illarramendi and Brais. However, neither of them managed the shot before Diego Rico, in the 71st minute, was sent off when he saw the second yellow card for a slap on Vivian. While the derby turned into a series of fouls and a succession of substitutions from one team to another, which deprived each other of continuity in the game, Valverde’s men did not let go in defense and have definitely taken control of the ball taking advantage of their digital. superiority.
With Paredes, De Marcos, Dani García, Nico Williams, Muniain and Villalibre Like a shock in the second half, in which Iñaki Williams was center forward for a few minutes to return to the right wing with the entry of Villalibre, Athletic remained firm until the final whistle and repeated the 1-0 victory in August 2018 in Irun in the txuri-urdin team itself in Euskal Herria Txapela. Four years later and with the release of a new edition of LaLiga just around the corner, the rojiblancos returned to soak up the Txapela with full merit in the penultimate friendly match of the pre- season to face the first official match of the season with a good feeling.
ATHLETIC: Iru; Lekue (Min. 65, De Marcos), Vivian, Yeray (Min. 46, Paredes), Yuri, Vesga, Zarraga (Min. 82, Dani García), Berenguer (Min. 65, Muniain), Sancet (Min. 82, Villalibre), Raúl García (Min. 50, Nico Williams) and Iñaki Williams.
REAL COMPANY: Zubiaur; Gorosabel (Min. 81, Olasagasti), Zubeldia, Le Normand, Rico, Illarramendi (Min. 77, Urko), Merino, Kubo (Min. 77, Aranbarri), Brais (Min. 81, Gómez), Barrenetxea (Min. 63 , Robert Navarro) and Carlos Fernández (Min. 63, Karrikaburu).
GL: 1-0: Min. 22; in Ves.
ARBITRATOR: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea. He reprimanded Sancet (Min. 57) and Yuri (Min. 87) at Athletic. On behalf of Real Sociedad, Rico was sent off for a double yellow card (Min. 52 and 71) and Le Normand (Min. 65), Illarramendi (Min. 69) and Olasagasti (Min. 92) were also reprimanded.
INCIDENTS: Sixth edition of the Euskal Herria Txapela disputed in Lasesarre in front of nearly 5,500 spectators. As the game approached, former Atletico goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz was honoured, tasked with kicking off the game.