Athletic Making History With Incredible Defense This Season

Yeray Inigo Martinez Villarreal

Yeray and Iñigo Martinez have been the best center-back duo in La Liga(EC)

Throughout history Athletic have taken pride in their physical style of defensive football. Of course it hasn’t always been the case with the Lions playing a more attacking brand at times, but a commitment to strong defending has always brought the club success. Gaizka Garitano was praised for bringing back the traditional Athletic football when he took over as manager nearly one year ago and the numbers are very impressive.

One third of the La Liga season has been played and Athletic have conceded just 8 goals in the opening 13 games, a new club record. The previous mark was 9 goals conceded at the start of the 1969/1970. Athletic allowed just 10 goals in 1984/1985 followed by 11 goals in the 1970/1971 season.

Conceding a mere 8 goals in 13 games is incredible and the team has also managed to keep 6 clean sheets in those games with help from goalkeeper Unai Simón. The 22-year-old also leads the race for the Zamora Trophy as he’s allowing just 0.58 goals per game, the lowest in the league. Arguably the best defensive side in Europe, Athletic have taken pride in defending as an entire team and have proven that they will be serious challengers for European qualification this year.

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