Saturday’s game against Celta Vigo was vital for Athletic’s hopes of finishing in the top seven. From the first whistle the Lions dominated the game and were finally able to take a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute thanks to a goal from Unai Nuñez, the first of his career. However, the Basques began to play a more defensive game after that point and Celta was able to equalize in stoppage time to steal a point. After the game Mikel San José and Unai Nuñez both spoke to the media and admitted that the result was disappointing but that the team was refusing to give up on qualifying for Europe.
Mikel San José
“We should have had a larger lead, but that wasn’t the case. They squeezed everything out of us at the end, took risks, and we were exposed. In the end we paid for it. We knew how we needed to defend but they were able to create something. Despite the goal we fought for victory until the end, but we couldn’t make it happen. The referee? They are human, like the players. I believe the wrong call was made on Iñaki, but they have a split second to make decisions and we respect them. We haven’t given up on seventh place. I’m optimistic until math says otherwise. This team can earn a victory against Villarreal, which is what we will go to do.
“We fought the whole game. It was back and forth for the last 20 minutes without anyone having control. We played a good game and trained for this. In the end taking all three points wasn’t possible so we must continue working. I don’t know if this makes seventh place any more difficult, but we will give everything we have in the remaining matches. That is still our goal. My first goal? Our bad luck means that my goal wasn’t able to earn three points.”