Back in November Athletic ended Osasuna’s 34-game unbeaten streak at El Sadar and the Navarrese side came to San Mamés on Sunday looking for revenge. Both sides have been in poor form in La Liga over the past few months and neither would be pleased with a draw. Being a Basque Derby, Athletic were expecting a battle and the Cathedral was buzzing.
Athletic started strong, putting constant pressure on Osasuna and attacking into space in the final third. However, the final ball was missing as the Lions were unable to put a shot on target. As time passed, Osasuna weathered the storm and began to get into the game with more possession. By the 20th minute both sides were seeing plenty of the ball, though it would be the visitors who struck first.
Just before the half hour mark Osasuna were given a free kick which lead to a header inside the box. Unai Simón managed to make a fantastic save but could do nothing when Oier Sanjurjo cleaned up the rebound to take a 1-0 lead. Now playing from behind, Athletic had a lot of work to do to get back into the game and looked like they had equalized in the final minute of the first half with a header from a free kick, but the goal was called off for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Gaizka Garitano responded after the break, bringing on Oihan Sancet for Asier Villalibre and the move had an immediate impact. The Zurigorri were able to get more balls into the box but were denied a penalty in the 53rd minute. Replay showed that a pass from Iñaki Williams clearly hit the arm of a defender, though the play wasn’t reviewed by VAR.
Minutes later Unai Vencedor hit the crossbar from a free kick which was soon followed by both Aritz Aduriz and Ibai Gómez coming into the game. Aduriz would also put a header off the post but, in the end, Athletic were unable to break through the Osasuna defense to score an equalizer. The loss extended Athletic’s winless streak in La Liga to nine games and the Zurigorri will look to finally put an end to the poor run in next weekend’s trip to Alavés.