Athletic Club had a brilliant chance to move up to fifth in the table on Sunday when they took on Alaves in the final Basque Derby of the season. However, the Lions failed to finish their many chances and a wonder strike from Theo Hernandez gave the home side a 1-0 victory. After the game, Ernesto Valverde spoke to the media and lamented his side’s ability to finish.“We knew they were going to come out with strong pressure, but we created very clear chances. Usually, we don’t fail with that many chances and it hurt us a lot. The second half they were able to get a goal and we were pressured to try and score. We were in danger and they were at ease defending.”
Valverde said that it doesn’t matter how well his side played unless they got the result they wanted. The Lions now have to look ahead to Leganes and congratulate Alaves on a hard-fought victory.
“It is the success that counts in football and only success. We would have had a considerable advantage in the final two games, but now we don’t. They scored and had beautiful atmosphere. We were condemned for our missed chances. Now we have to look forward. We did everything we could and we must congratulate Alaves. Of all the Derbies this had the most ambiance and it was extraordinary for the local team. They will play a final soon and I am happy for them. Now we need six points out of six to finish in the top six.”
Athletic Club currently hold the tiebreaker over Real Sociedad for sixth in the La Liga table which would give them Europa League play next season. With only two games remaining it will be a tight finish to the season. The Lions will be back in action next weekend when they host Leganes at the San Mames in what is a must-win game.