Raúl García Suspended For Leganés Clash
Athletic were facing an uphill battle when they walked into the Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday. Not only had the Lions gone 14 years without winning on the road against Real Madrid, but they were also trying to end that streak with several majors injuries in the team. Ibai Gómez, Ander Capa, Oscar De Marcos, and Dani García were all unavailable which left Gaizka Garitano with some difficult decisions to make.
Iñigo Lekue returned to the lineup and Iker Muniain started on the right wing for the second straight match, but it still wasn’t enough to lift the Lions to victory. Real Madrid scored three goals in the second half to pull off a 3-0 victory which left Athletic in 7th place. The result was certainly disappointing and it puts Athletic in another tough position.
The Athletic players were frustrated in the first half due to the referee showing two early yellow cards and regularly stopping play. Raúl García said something to the referee during a stoppage just before the break and was immediately booked. It wasn’t a wise decision from the midfielder who will now be suspended for Wednesday’s match against Leganés.
With Raúl García unavailable Garitano will be hoping that someone like Gómez, Capa, or De Marcos will return from injury in time to play against Leganés. If not, the manager will have to fill yet another important position in the lineup. Iker Muniain will likely start in place of García, although Unai López could be another option. Regardless of who plays, Athletic must win in Butarque to continue fighting for Europe.