El Glorioso drew 1-1 on Saturday against Athletic in their last friendly before the start of the season. The albiazul domain insisting on high pressure and without letting play his rival was the best of a match which was the last test target before the league debut at Leganés.
However, albiazules sinned again with wet gunpowder and, save for Sylla’s opportunism in the final minutes, they could not finish their fine work for lack of killer instinct. The visitor’s only goal was achieved by the Senegalese striker in an isolated game in the epilogue after stealing the ball from Nolaskoain and defining very successfully.
The last test of Deportivo Alavés before the start of the season once again underlined the need to strengthen a squad which today shows an obvious deficit in terms of score, apart from two powerful power stations. El Glorioso dominated almost the whole game and didn’t let his rival play under good pressure. Yet, and again, the albiazules haven’t seen the gate on any of their many occasions. Meanwhile, Athletic struck first with the resulting anxiety.
The match started with both teams testing each other, until Padilla had to intervene in Alavés’ first danger approach by Rioja at the bottom of the left wing. The home side tried to react quickly but failed to take a free kick from a corner.
Alavés felt more comfortable on the pitch and proof of that was another opportunity away from home. La Rioja again brought danger with a cross from the left wing, but De la Fuente did not reach the far post. Athletic tried, but couldn’t overcome the good pressure from Albiazul. The hosts could only create danger from set pieces and Petxarroman tried it with a long shot from a corner.
Luis García’s pupils once again sent a serious warning in the 18th minute, this time it was Alkain who received a fine pass at the far post, but his shot went wide. For his part, B.alenziaga timidly tried it with a long shot that Sivera caught with no problem.
Albiazul’s goal seemed to be a matter of time. However, the hosts were more effective and in an isolated game they managed to open the scoring. A good shot where Guruzeta crossed almost unopposed and Villalibre, without a mark due to an oversight by Abqar, thus scored the first goal without Sivera being able to do anything.
Alavés did not give up and continued to generate danger, but without success in front of goal and this time it was Guridi who disagreed with his shot. The match was almost always played on the Athletic field, but Alavés did not hit the mark on any of his occasions and this ended up penalizing the albiazules who entered the break with a lower score.
The second part began as the previous one ended, that is to say with a dominant Alavés in the game, but without succeeding in the last meters. Meanwhile, Athletic continued to wait behind to try to surprise the albiazules with quick transitions.
In the 60th minute, Valverde’s side were able to increase their lead on the scoreboard, but this time Villalibre did not hit his mark and the ball went to the left side of the goal defended by Sivera.
Alavés did not lose faith despite the fact that physical exhaustion began to take its toll and little by little Athletic took possession of the ball. The locals felt a little more comfortable on the pitch and Serrano nearly scored the second goal, but his shot hit the crossbar.
The visiting coach, Luis García, tried to revive his team by moving the bench and bring in footballers with fresh legs like Moya, Abde or Sylla. However, the most active albiazul player, one more day, was Guridi. The ex of the Royal, who has combined well with Sevilla in an association football rarely seen in Vitoria lately, was too alone and did not finish finding the striker who was right with his good assists. Although late, Alavés finally found the prize for his generous performance.
When it all looked like it was going to end with a local victory, Sylla justified himself by being very smart stealing the ball from Nolaskoain and scoring at will after facing Padilla. The striker had another chance a few minutes later, but this time his shot went wide. In the end, the morning ended in a tie at one o’clock and Alavés leaves feeling he can be a clear candidate for promotion if Sergio Fernández is successful with pending signingsespecially a striker with an intimidating effect and a more powerful center than the current ones.
Other, Luis García Plaza already has a practically set XI for league debut and, except surprise, it will be the one who started the duel this Saturday at Lezama: Sivera, Anderson, Sedlar, Abqar or even Tenaglia, Duarte; Benavídez, Sevilla, Alkain, Guridi, Rioja and De la Fuente.