Iker Muniain “We’re Leaving With A Bad Taste In Our Mouths”
Athletic weren’t able to topple Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday, suffering a 3-0 defeat and putting their European dreams in jeopardy. For the second straight match Iker Muniain was forced to play on the right wing due to injuries, though this time he was limited in his ability to impact the game. He spoke with Athletic TV after the final whistle and lamented that the Lions couldn’t score the first goal.
“The first half was quite level. At the start of the second half we had a chance to score, but we couldn’t and then they scored. That’s when things changed. Madrid put you up against it every game. We came to win. We wanted to score first and if we did maybe there would have been another outcome. We’re leaving with a bad taste in our mouths. I thought it would be a good opportunity because they aren’t playing for anything, but they are still strong and we lost.”
Muniain went on to admit that it was a poor performance from Athletic. Still, he doesn’t believe that the result changes the team’s goal of qualifying for Europe. The Champions League may be out of reach now, but the Europa League is a very real possibility.
“It wasn’t our most precise match. We have had better performances and if you aren’t at your best against Madrid it takes a toll. This result doesn’t deviate us from the path we want. We have direct matches ahead with options to qualify for Europe. We will go for it. The best thing is that we have another game on Wednesday and hopefully we will add three points. The Champions League is further away, but the Europa League is a great goal too. The Europa League is a short distance and if we maintain this level we will qualify.”
Iago Herrerín has caught most of the blame for the result. The goalkeeper made two crucial errors that led to goals, but Muniain was quick to defend his teammate. “Everyone is responsible for the result and everyone makes mistakes”, said Muniain “Herrerín has saved us many times, we shouldn’t throw anything in his face. The forwards weren’t successful either. We made mistakes too. There were a lot of things that kept us from winning.”