Athletic closed out the preseason on Saturday with a 2-2 draw against Eibar. The Lions started strong, scoring two goals in the first half, but also surrendered two goals after the break. It was a mixed bag at Lezama in what was the team’s final test before kicking off the La Liga season in six days.
Eibar’s press proved challenging early on. Athletic were unable to string many passes together and instead settled to for long balls to the forwards. As the game wore on Athletic settled into a rhythm and would take advantage of a goalkeeping mistake to open the scoring early on.
Jon Morcillo sent a cross into the box which was spilled by Yoel. Raúl García tapped the ball into the back of the net to give Athletic a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game. After taking the lead, Athletic controlled the game with Eibar prevented from creating any real chances in attack. The Lions possessed the ball, defended well, and would soon be rewarded with a second goal.
In the 28th minute Morcillo blasted a long shot from outside the box. Yoel failed to deal with the bending effort and pushed the ball into the goal. Athletic nearly added a third minutes later when a ball over the top fell to Iñaki Williams. The striker tried to chip Yoel but sent his effort wide. Williams would also miss the mark on a volley inside the box before the break.
The second half belonged to Eibar. By committing more players to attack, the visitors managed to pull back a goal in the 71st minute with a shot from Kike García. Athletic struggled to do much going forward and Eibar took advantage. With just three minutes left to play Pedro Leon pulled Eibar level with a cross that was deflected into goal. The final whistle followed with the game ending in a 2-2 draw.
Athletic’s first half was impressive and showed the team is ready to kick off the La Liga season on Friday night. However, the disappointing second half showed that there are still things to be improved. With the preseason now over, Athletic turn their attention to the upcoming trip to Granada.