Eduardo Berizzo “We Have To Play Like This All The Time”
Athletic Club put in a spectacular performance on Saturday to secure a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid and manager Eduardo Berizzo was very pleased after the game. When speaking to the press afterwards, Toto said that the team was able to make the fans happy and that they have to play like this every game.
“We were able to play well against Real Madrid today and we have to play like this all the time. Performances like this make the fans happy and represented on the field. The team played with everything. We were able to control Bale, Benzema, and Isco but the game required physicality. Their best attackers today were their two center-backs. We knew the game was going to be physical and our midfield was able to control the ball well in the first half. In the second half we had to defend more. We must always demand this level from ourselves.”
Berizzo went on to praise the performances of Unai Simón and Markel Susaeta, while also admitting that Beñat is competing for a place in the regular lineup. He also refused to give an opinion on Iker Muniain’s injury, saying that the player needs to be examined before discussing the situation.
“Unai Simón was fundamental to our result. I’m glad he played well because this is a game you will always remember. Beñat played very well and was involved. He is capable of doing what he is asked and is in competition to be a starter. I also value the work of Susaeta because he created dangerous chances and is able to help defensively. Iker Muniain was in pain but we don’t have anything to report. He will be checked out. The team was strengthened with San José and Rico which helped us late in the game.”
In closing, Berizzo admitted that Athletic’s style of football is demanding. It requires players to run a lot and be physical, which means that everyone in the squad must be ready when called upon. The Argentine also revealed that the team used individual marking on set pieces against Real Madrid, but said that it isn’t a permanent part of the system.
“Our way of playing is demanding. We need the whole team and anyone can be chosen at any time so everyone must be prepared. The addition of the new players has been great for the team. We did use individual marking and when it goes well you are praised and if it goes wrong you will be criticized. It isn’t a set thing and it depends on the game and situation. The important thing is to have possession of the ball.”
With Saturday’s draw, Athletic currently sit 4th in the La Liga table with one game in hand. The team will now turn their attention to next weekend’s game against Real Betis, which will be Athletic’s first away game of the season. The Lions have been in fine form to start the season and will need to build on this performance.