Alavés 0-0 Athletic Club: Deadlock At The Mendizorrotza

Yuri Ibai Benat

Yuri Berchiche tries to win the ball from Ibai Gómez (LaLiga)

Athletic knew that they were facing an uphill battle at the Mendizorrotza and that is exactly what happened to start the game. Alavés enjoyed the bulk of the possession early on but were unable to do anything with it. As time passed by Athletic began to take more control of the game by playing down the wings and were the first team to get a good chance on goal.

In the 26th minute a cross found Raúl García who blasted a low shot on goal, but Pacheco was able to drop to make the save. Ten minutes later Alavés would force their first save when Ibai Gómez tried a left-footed shot at the top of the box. It was a weak effort that Iago Herrerín easily collected. Athletic responded again when Susaeta’s cross fell to García once again. The midfielder tried to direct an effort on goal but only got a piece of the ball and the goalkeeper was there to pick it up.

Markel Susaeta and Iñigo Córdoba then switched wings and the Lions began to look even more dangerous. Aritz Aduriz would have another promising chance for Athletic when a cleared corner was sent back into the box. The striker volleyed a shot that whipped just wide of the far post. The halftime whistle was blown without any extra time and Athletic went into the break with more chances and 58% possession. It was a strong first half but the Zurigorri needed to find a way to score.

It was a much more defensive showing from both sides in the second half as neither team was really able to create clear chances. Córdoba would get the best look of the half when Raúl García played him into space and he forced the keeper to make a diving save. Around the hour mark Gaizka Garitano brought on Iker Muniain and Iñaki Williams which opened up the game a bit, but Alavés did well to deal with the danger.

There was no late drama as the match would eventually end in a scoreless draw. Athletic needed all three points to climb out of the relegation zone but the single point will only move them level with Villarreal at 17th in the La Liga table. The Zurigorri will host Real Valladolid at the San Mamés on Saturday with hopes of finally getting out of the relegation zone.

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