Unai López Unleashes Quality With Prolific Performance Against Granada
Taking all three points against Granada required a full team effort from Athletic. The Lions had to overcome a strong press and adapt to a physical opponent in order to control the game and, when the final whistle sounded, Athletic were fully deserving of the 2-0 victory. While several players stepped up to help secure the important win, no one was more impressive than Unai López.
To put it simply, López put in his best performance in an Athletic shirt to date. The assist he provided on Yuri Berchiche’s late goal was absolutely sublime, but López had a much bigger impact on the game than one beautiful pass. From start to finish the 24-year-old was as complete as a midfielder can be without scoring a goal.
López completed 95.5% of his passes, provided 3 key passes, won 2 dribbles, drew 2 fouls, and put in 9 crosses. The midfielder showcased his repertoire of passing proficiency on a level that he never has at Athletic and pulled all the strings in the middle of the field. All the quality that López flashed at Lezama was on display at San Mamés, but he was solid defensively as well.
Over the years defending has held López back more than anything. He’s even admitted in several interviews that he needs to improve in this area and his hard work was rewarded against Granada. López won 3 tackles, had 2 interceptions, and won 2 headers but, most importantly, was able to hold his own and thrive in a physical game which has always been difficult.
Unai López was the best player on the pitch against Granada. His impact was felt in every facet of the game and this spectacular performance will certainly be something to build upon. If López is able to play at this level consistently it will take Athletic to an even higher level, but continuity doesn’t come easily. López has shown what he’s capable of. The quality and potential have been waiting to explode and now it’s up to him to keep the fire raging.