Monday, 7 December 2009

Yay, we're third!!!

This post is totally late. I apologise. I'm just kind of lazy when it comes to writing these on the day because I'm too busy concentrating, and then I don't rewatch again for a day or two because it's too stressful.

Anyway, Valencia played away at San Mames this weekend. That is a notoriously difficult place to travel to. Athletic Bilbao are very strong at home and the supporters are very vocal. This was clear in the La Liga fixture between the two teams, which Valencia managed to just about edge out. The first half was tense affair, the away side proving the more attacking of the two but without a goal to show for it. Fernando Llorente limped off midway through the half, dealing a devastating blow to the home side's attack.

Just after the restart, Bilbao suffered another blow when they were forced into their second substitution of the evening, Susaeta being replaced by Muniain. Despite the poorer start, it was Bilbao who took the lead in the 57th minute, Cesar making a very good save but unfortunately for him, only managing to push the ball into the path of the oncoming Muniain (who if I am not mistaken is 16 years old!!!) The lead didn't last too long though, and David Villa (who else...) scored the equaliser just minutes later, after having missed a one on one and chipping the ball over the goalkeeper but wide of the goal.

The home side were dealt a further blow to their chances when Koikili was sent off just after the 70th minute for a second yellow, leaving them a defender down against a pressing Valencia side. The winning goal for Valencia came from an unlikely source, Jeremy Mathieu scoring his first for the club following his summer transfer. It wasn't quite game over yet though, and despite the one man advantage, Valencia came a post's width away from throwing away another 2 points in the dying minutes, following a somewhat dubiously given penalty kick against Navarro. Still, despite the numerous heart attacks, they held on for the win, allowing them to leapfrog Sevilla into third and leaving them three points behind Real Madrid ahead of their meeting next weekend.