Real has escaped victory in the derby in the most unlikely way. When he had everything most in favor, after having advanced on the scoreboard and playing against ten due to Iñigo Martínez’s expulsion, an error when clearing fists by Alex Remiro in a foul launched by Muniain allowed Athletic to draw in the 90th minute when it was on the canvas. Painful end of an even derby in which the point allows the Real to continue being the leader alone.
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Isak had to sacrifice playing on the right wing to make room for Sorloth in the starting eleven. Throughout the first part he would swap his position with Januzaj because La Real could not find solutions. It was the offensive trident of the txuri urdin, with Silva at the midpoint, in a 4-2-3-1 that was not enough to break Athletic’s good position in the first half.
Both teams faithful to their proposals, the Real tried to attract the rojiblancos who decided to wait, without pressing fiercely, which led to a dense game of chess. A low-tempo match, with hardly any chances, although the derby debuted with a scare to death for Real. Williams, in a long ball, Athletic’s great offensive resource, mocked Remiro’s departure and when he was about to score on an empty goal Aritz Elustondo worked a miracle by crossing and not scoring a penalty, although the VAR reviewed it. After recovering the heartbeat after the threat of a heart attack, the Real took control of the game but without wanting to risk being punished for a loss when filtering a ball.
The team lacked vertigo, which above all was able to go out with Rico on the left, and only Isak found two free balls in the entire first half. In the first, within the area, he crossed violently in 18 ‘but Simón stopped and in 36’ the protagonists repeated with the same result. For from Alava. Little baggage to subdue an Athletic that defended itself comfortably and came out little but threatening. In 38 ‘Aritz also repeated the cross against Williams, doubling an action of enormous merit.
Athletic repeated the threat as soon as the second half began. Remiro had to deflect a header well directed by Raúl García. And the Real began again. Something higher in his position, yes, he began to harass the Biscayan team a little more. Before 1-0 Silva had already enjoyed a volley inside the area in the 50th minute and five minutes later, as in the Cup final, Iñigo Martínez repeated a penalty. Sorloth badly finished off a Gorosabel cross, the rebound fell to Merino, which Martinez clearly knocked down from behind. Isak transformed with solvency bringing madness to Anoeta’s stands.
Athletic reacted quickly, entered the Real field decisively and based on strategy plays and lateral centers, they demanded a lot from Remiro. The Navarrese avoided the tie in a point-blank header from Berenguer in a very past center in 68. The feeling that Real would have to resist was clear. The final stretch, from 78, in fact, Imanol decided to play it with five defenders. He was not able.
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A lot of things happened in the final stretch. In 84 ‘Iñigo Martínez was sent off for a double yellow when he slapped Isak in the face and Real’s victory seemed closer than ever. In a lateral free kick in the 90th minute, however, Muniain managed to equalize. The Navarrese shot from the vertex to the short post, Remiro put both fists to clear but did not impact well on the ball that slipped into his goal. An unlikely end when the Real had it more controlled.