Athletic Club were looking to go nine games unbeaten to start the new season when they traveled to the Canary Islands on Sunday. Las Palmas presented a very strong opponent and Kuko Ziganda decided to rest several starts with Atletico Madrid coming to the San Mamés on Wednesday. After 88 minutes of being stuck in a deadlock, the home side was able to take the lead through a Loic Remy goal as the Lions suffered their first defeat of the Kuko Ziganda era.
Athletic Club have been unbeaten in their first eight games this season and were looking to make it nine straight on Sunday against Las Palmas. The match began with both teams trading possession and chances, but neither was able to take control of the game. The home side made things really difficult for Athletic who were without several of their most important players, although they put in a strong performance with Mikel Vesga and Raúl García creating opportunities from the middle of the pitch.
Las Palmas did well to test Kepa Arrizabalaga a few times in the first half and earned several corner kicks. On the other end, the Lions continued to look for Iñaki Williams in attack but he was unable to get any clear looks on goal. There was no clear scoring opportunity in the first half, which was fairly uneventful, and the halftime whistle soon came with both clubs locked in a scoreless draw.
The second half began with Athletic showing a little more energy going forward. Iñaki Williams earned an early corner kick which was soon followed by a great chance from Sabin Merino with only the keeper to beat. Iñaki continued to use his pace up front but was unable to do much with it. At the hour mark, Aritz Aduriz and Iker Muniain were brought on in hopes of finding that elusive opening goal. The minutes began to pass with it looking like this one was heading for yet another scoreless draw.
With only two minutes left to play, Las Palmas would break the deadlock through a wonderful goal from Loic Remy. Athletic were unable to pull the score back level with the remaining time and the final whistle soon followed. It was the first defeat of the year for new manager Kuko Ziganda and the first time this defense has conceded a goal in La Liga play. The Lions will now be preparing for Wednesday’s clash with Atletico Madrid at the San Mamés. With so many players rested against Las Palmas it’s clear that Ziganda had the upcoming game in mind and taking even a point off of Los Colchoneros would be seen as a good result.
Athletic Club XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Eneko Bóveda, Unai Nuñez, Aymeric Laporte, Enric Saborit, Mikel Vesga, Ander Iturraspe (Beñat 87′), Sabin Merino (Aritz Aduriz 63′), Raúl García, Markel Susaeta (Iker Muniain 63′), Iñaki Williams