Unai Simón “To Take Out La Gabarra We Must First Pass This Round”
Unai Simón put in yet another great performance on Wednesday night, making a number of important saves to hold Granada scoreless at San Mamés. Despite winning the match 1-0, the Lions felt as though they should have scored even more goals to put the tie out of reach going into the second leg in Andalusia.
“We played a great match and got a great result at home without conceding a goal,” Simón told Athletic TV after the game. “It’s a result in our favor and we have a higher chance of going through than if we had tied or lost. It was a great game, but 1-0 is also very good for Granada. We dominated the game and we have the thorn of not having scored a couple more goals.”
Regardless of the result, Simón was proud of the way Athletic played at home. Keeping a clean sheet could play a major role in the second leg and just might be the key to making it to the final.
“We played an exceptional first half because they hardly had any chances. In the last minutes the game was more open because we really wanted to score more. We had the ambition to score more goals. We took risks and survived the danger. It’s my job to help the team as much as possible and that’s what I tried to do.”
The fans at San Mamés created an incredible atmosphere which helped push Athletic to victory. It was yet another beautiful night in Bilbao, though Simón made it clear that there is still work to be done.
“We felt the support of San Mamés. The fans supported us at all times and that gives you strength when you don’t have any more. In San Mamés we don’t play with 11, but with almost 50,000. We are very lucky to have fans that push us so much. It’s true that the result was good, but we haven’t achieved anything. To take out La Gabarra we must first pass thing round.”
Athletic will travel to Granada for the second leg on 5 March, but must first turn their attention back to the La Liga campaign. This Sunday Osasuna will visit San Mamés for an important Basque Derby where three points will be on the line.