Mikel Balenziaga “It’s A Shame We Didn’t Get A Point”
Mikel Balenziaga faced a massive test on Tuesday night as he was asked to fill in for the suspended Yuri Berchiche and defend the same side of the field as Lionel Messi. For the most part the 32-year-old played well in his rare start. The entire team put in a solid performance but eventually conceded a goal in the second half to suffer a 1-0 defeat at Camp Nou.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get a point because we played a good game,” Balenziaga said after the match. “We were brave and fought. We were brave against Barcelona because we knew that we were facing an opponent that demands a lot from you.”
Athletic had a number of chances to score a goal of their own but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. Although the Lions returned home empty-handed, Gaizka Garitano’s side can be happy with their performance.
“We had the opportunity to score, some of the chances more clear than others. It’s a pity. Then they scored a goal after we had gone through moments of suffering. The assessment is that we were brace because we wanted to take the ball away from them and try to score.”
For his part Balenziaga explained that he felt good on the field. It was just his 7th appearance of the season and he was happy to play the entire match.
“I felt comfortable in the team and also physically, but it was a shame to return without points. What mattered most was going home with something. Now we can’t think much more about it because we have to play again soon.”
Athletic were unlucky not to take anything away from the match and will be back in action on Saturday when Mallorca visit San Mamés. “We have another opportunity in three days and we need to keep adding points, we have to take the points,” said Balenziaga. The race for Europe is still on.