Iñigo Martinez Suspended For Atlético Clash After Booking Against Espanyol
Athletic’s 1-1 draw against Espanyol on Friday night wasn’t the result that the Basques were hoping for. After taking an early lead Espanyol sat back in defense and tried to make things difficult for their hosts. It took until the 80th minute for Raúl García to head home the equalizer, but the wasn’t enough time to find a winning goal. The point is still favorable, however there is also a bit of bad news.
In the 78th minute Iñigo Martinez was shown a yellow card, presumably for something he said to the referee. He wasn’t involved in the play at the time but was seen having words with González Fuertes who immediately gave him a booking. At the moment it didn’t seem like much, but it was actually the defender’s 10th yellow card of the season which means that he will be suspended for the next match.
Not having Martinez available for next Sunday’s fixture against Atlético Madrid is an unfortunate situation for Athletic. He and Yeray have formed what is arguably the best center-back pairing in La Liga over the past month and now someone will have to take his place. Most likely Unai Nuñez will be inserted into the starting lineup, but he has struggled at times playing on the left.
Getting a positive result against Atlético Madrid is never easy, and Martinez’s absence will make it even more difficult. However, playing at San Mamés could give Athletic the necessary boost to put in a solid performance. After the match the international break will begin and Athletic won’t be back in action until 29 March when they travel to face off with Girona. The Lions could be without key players in that fixture as well with Iker Muniain, Oscar De Marcos, Yeray, and Nuñez all one booking away from suspensions.