Asier Villalibre “I Hit It As Best I Could And Was Lucky It Went In”
Athletic’s hopes of building on Sunday’s impressive performance Atlético were dashed at Ipurua. The Lions went into Wednesday’s Basque Derby as favorites, but failed to live up to expectations as Eibar were in control for large stretches of the game. Despite going ahead after just eight minutes, Athletic surrendered two goals and needed a late equalizer from Asier Villalibre to rescue a point.
“We came to Ipurua knowing that it was going to be a very difficult match,” Villalibre said after the game. “It’s what we expected. You have to give everything here. We’re still there in the fight despite not getting the three points. We played a good match. It’s true that we were dominated in more than one phase, but we were also strong and it’s a shame.
Villalibre’s goal seemingly came from out of nowhere. Dani García played a ball over the top of the defense and Villalibre managed to beat the goalkeeper with a shot off his knee.
“There were two changes. Gaizka (Garitano) told Ibai to go out to the right and for me to play with Williams up top, he on the right and I on the left. I scored the goal with my knee. That’s where the ball came and I hit it as best I could and was lucky it went in. Despite the goal I leave with a bittersweet taste. We wanted all three points in our fight for Europe.”
Asiler Villalibre has come on strong since January and could play an important role for Athletic in the final nine games of the season. The young striker is starting to show signs that he can seriously contribute to the team and could soon be fighting for a regular spot in the starting lineup.