Gaizka Garitano “We Lost An Opportunity For The Champions League”
Athletic had the chance to pull within one point of 4th place on Sunday but were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. Getafe scored a late winner to send the Lions home empty-handed and still in 8th. After the game manager, Gaizka Garitano regretted that the team was unable to keep playing at a high level in the second half and explained that they failed to make the most of their chances.
“In the first half we were more comfortable than they were and they rarely got the ball past the middle of the field. We didn’t take advantage of the only mistake they made and then they took the match from one play. There were only three chances, one for us and two for them, and it was clear that the team who made fewer mistakes would be rewarded. Normally Getafe creates more chances. We were worse in the second half. We attacked less and were not well.”
The loss seems like the right result to Garitano. Getafe created more chances and didn’t commit as many mistakes. The Mister admitted that Athletic lacked a rhythm because they couldn’t link passes together, but was still proud to see his team make the game so difficult for Getafe.
“The result seems fair to me because they had more chances than us. We were defending well and the sensations were good in the first half. They didn’t do anything until the break and we won all the duels. We knew that one mistake would cost us. We committed two in the second half. We lacked rhythm because we didn’t link passes well. We didn’t manage to take advantage of the duels we won and we couldn’t win them in the second half. It’s one of the most uncomfortable matches I’ve seen from Getafe, but in the second half we didn’t create chances.”
Ibai Gómez suffered an ankle injury in the opening 15 minutes and had to come off the field. Garitano revealed that the winger could miss some time because the issue appears to be somewhat serious.
“Ibai’s injury was an inconvenience. He was playing well and will miss some time because there is a lot of damage. It’s pretty bad. I’ve seen all of Getafe’s games at home and they are always very direct. That’s why I chose San José over Beñat. Aduriz didn’t really have time to do anything. He had ten minutes during which he was able to create little or worry Getafe. They handled the situation very well.”
The Lions are frustrated after failing to capitalize on a perfect opportunity to move within striking distance of the top four. Now they have to make adjustments and prepare for Sunday’s match against Rayo Vallecano where a win will keep them in the race for European qualification.
“We lost an opportunity for the Champions League and we are angry, disgusted, especially because we started better than we finished. It’s not always possible to win. This is a game of mistakes, of not committing them, and this is what happens. We have to try to improve what we have done today and follow this path. They also found a very tough opponent today.”
Athletic will get a boost on Sunday when they welcome Rayo to San Mamés. Iker Muniain will return from suspension and Aritz Aduriz could perhaps play more minutes. Unfortunately, Ander Capa is still sidelined with a muscle injury and Ibai Gómez will likely be absent as well. Mikel San José will serve a suspension which leaves Gaizka Garitano with more difficult decisions to make.