Real Sociedad 3-1 Athletic Club: Disaster At The Anoeta
Going into Saturday’s Basque Derby there was so much drama you could taste it. Three points separated Real Sociedad and Athletic Club in the La Liga table and Iñigo Martinez was making his return to the Anoeta. The Lions knew it would be a difficult game, but their rivals were clearly out to make a point. The game began with both sides trading possession and chances on goal with neither team looking all that dangerous. In fact, the first goal that was scored was a complete accident.
After fifteen minutes of action Real Sociedad were awarded a corner kick. The ball was swung into the box and fell to Mikel San José who tried to clear it but ended up netting an own goal that stunned Athletic and sent the Anoeta into a frenzy. From the look on the Athletic players’s faces you could tell that they couldn’t believe what just happened and they needed to work fast to restore parity. From that point the Lions began to dominate the game and were able to put a few good chances together.
Iñaki Williams had a good look at goal while Iñigo Martinez put a header just over the crossbar. For all their efforts Athletic just couldn’t find the equalizer and the hosts began to work their way back into the game. With nearly 40 minutes gone it would against be Real Sociedad who were celebrating a goal, this time scored by one of their own players. On a counter attack Mikel Oyarzabal surged into the box and was not picked up by Iñigo Lekue who was marking him. A pass was played into the box with no one able to keep it away from the winger who slotted it past Kepa Arrizabalaga to make it 2-0 just before the halftime whistle sounded.
Manager Kuko Ziganda responded after the break by bringing on Markel Susaeta in hopes of providing more creativity to the attack. Just when Athletic began to look a bit more structured, the unthinkable would happen. A cross was sent into the box and once again came off of Mikel San José for another own goal to give the hosts a 3-0 lead. The Anoeta erupted, meanwhile Athletic fans were in disbelief. The most irate players on the pitch were clearly Kepa and San José, who couldn’t believe that he had scored two own goals in a Derby.
Athletic were able to pull a goal back when they were awarded a penalty. Raúl García stepped up to take the kick and put his strike past Moya to make it 3-1. There was belief that Athletic could somehow get into the game and the additions of Iker Muniain and Mikel Rico looked to add a new dimension. Real Sociedad held their line and didn’t give up anything easily. Towards the end of the game tempers would flare as Ruben Pardo was eventually shown a red card, but the Lions were unable to get back into the game and finally fell 3-1 in the disaster in the Anoeta.