Fate passes through Pizjuán again

Athletic plays it again at the Sánchez Pizjuán. As happened just three years ago today, the lions have the opportunity next Sunday to certify a European place as long as they improve Villarreal’s result at the Camp Nou, a match that will also start at ten o’clock at night. It is worth adding a point to the lions if the yellows lose against a Barça that is no longer at stake and they need to win if the other match ends in a draw. A victory for those led by Unai Emery would leave the lions out of Europe for the fifth consecutive season.

The lions depended on themselves, but ended up out of Europe after losing 2-0

Football always gives a second chance. Athletic led by Gaizka Garitano in the 2018-19 season he had it better than the current one. At that time he depended on himself, something that does not happen now. A win on the field of play in Seville allowed the League to finish in sixth position for the best goal average with Sevilla de Joaquin Caparros and a tie was worth to be seventh, a position that also led to the Europa League.

The lions had it in their hands after starring in a great comeback in the standings with coach Derio, who had relieved Eduardo Berizzo in the month of December, but they ended up losing after a bad game and were left with honey on their lips after the triumph achieved by Espanyol against Real Sociedad (2-0).

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No one would have thought that Athletic was playing for a continental place after seeing the Sánchez Pizjuán match. It was a complete disaster, especially in the first half, in which both teams gave the impression of not wanting to hurt each other. Ben Yedder put the locals ahead just before the break after an error from Danny Garcia. The San Mamés team advanced lines in the second half and gave the impression of being able to draw. Inigo Martinez had it with a shot to the crossbar in the 92nd minute, but then Munir sentenced the 2-0 against. Athletic offered the worst face of the season at the decisive moment, when they had everything in their hands to be seen again by the old continent the following year.

The lions have the opportunity to make up for it in the Sevilla field this coming Sunday. The defeat against Celta on matchday 32 seemed to truncate all European options, but the two wins in a row against Cádiz and Atlético and the draw with Valencia at San Mamés, in a match where they deserved more, served to get back into the fight . It was necessary to win yes or yes in Granada, but the team once again offered a very bad image. He almost did not appear in Los Cármenes and ended up being worth the goal of Alex Collado after an error by Unai Simón in delivering the ball over Danny Garcia and Zumarraga’s for not clearing it the first time.

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This defeat left everything pending of almost a carom in the penultimate day. Beating Osasuna in San Mamés was something feasible considering that the rojillos arrived in Bilbao without a goal to fight for. More complicated was that Villarreal lost at home to Real Sociedad. Finally, the two premises were fulfilled with 2-0 at San Mamés and 1-2 at La Cerámica.

Athletic has reached the last day of the League alive. Now we have to improve Villarreal’s result with Barça against Sevilla. The people from Seville only compete for third place against Atlético de Madrid, who visit Anoeta. It is true that there is a lot of money at stake between finishing third or fourth, but it remains to be seen how this circumstance influences the motivation of Julen Lopetegui’s players. The lions have to beat the sevillistas in motivation and intensity. It’s about doing your homework in Pizjuán and waiting for those of Emery lose in the azulgrana coliseum.