It has been eight straight games since Athletic last won a match and the Lions looked to change that on Saturday when they hosted Valencia at the San Mamés. Eduardo Berizzo made several changes to the lineup, brining in the likes of Mikel Rico, Mikel San José, and Ander Capa. The manager demanded more consistency and intensity from his team going into the fixture and they responded well.
From the very beginning Athletic pressed with aggression and did well to win back possession. Valencia struggled to put passes together as the Basques cycled the ball around well. However, Athletic still found it difficult to create chances. Their best looks in front of goal often came from set pieces, while their visitors were content to settle for counter attacks.
The game was still scoreless going into halftime and it was clear that the two sides were evenly matched. Both were defending well and didn’t seem willing to take risks that could lead to conceding goals. Throughout the remainder of the match Berizzo brought on the likes of Iñaki Williams and Iker Muniain to give Athletic more creativity, but they were still unable to find the back of the net. Both sides did have a few promising chances that saw Iago Herrerín and Neto have to make impressive saves.
After 90 minutes of action, plus three minutes of stoppage time, the game finally ended in a scoreless draw. Athletic have played much better than their previous two games, although picking up one point at home still felt like a loss for the Lions who currently find themselves two points off of the relegation zone in the table. The Zurigorri will be back in La Liga action on Monday, 5 November when they will travel to face off with surging Espanyol.