MADRID, 12 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Athletic Club stumbled again at home this Monday in their visit to bottom UD Almería against whom they could not get past a goalless draw despite playing a large part of the second half with one more player, in the match that completed the twenty-fourth matchday of LaLiga EA Sports 2023-2024.
Ernesto Valverde's team lost the opportunity to snatch, although tied on points, the fourth league place held by Atlético de Madrid, defeated at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, nor to also take advantage of the setback at FC Barcelona's home or the defeat of Girona at the Santiago Bernabéu after a discreet clash that showed that he is not doing well away from San Mamés and where he played with one more from the 52nd minute.
Despite the emotional reinforcement of their victory at the Cívitas Metropolitano in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals, Ernesto Valverde's men seemed to pay for the casualties (Nico Williams, Gorka Guruzeta and Daniel Vivian) and some forced rest (Oihan Sancet and Beñat Prados) and added their third consecutive exit without winning or scoring after the defeat at Mestalla (1-0) and the goalless draw at the Nuevo Mirandilla.
Athletic Club came out ready to command and quickly took control of the match, but it was difficult for them to generate clear chances except for distant shots from Mikel Vesga or Íñigo Ruiz de Galarreta, while UD Almería little by little settled down and tried to surprise the counterattack supported by the speed of Largie Ramazani, Sergio Arribas and 'Choco' Lozano.
A great save from Luis Maximiano to Aitor Paredes avoided a 0-1 lead before a break, after which the situation changed definitively with Ramazani's expulsion for a double yellow card. Gaizka Garitano knew how to rebuild his team, which Ernesto Valverde did not achieve, as he opted first for Iker Muniain and Raúl García, this one in his 600th game in the League, and then for Sancet, but he did not find offensive solutions.
The match was more about the interests of UD Almería, although in the final stretch of the match the two clearest options were seen, one for each team. First, Raúl García hit the post with his header, and later, in a counterattack, 'Marezi' (Marko Milovanovic) hit the crossbar in his one-on-one match against Unai Simón, which could have given the team the first victory of the season. Almería, which took another step back in its attempt to achieve a stay at 13 points.