Athletic played their penultimate friendly of the preseason in Germany against Hannover in what would prove to be a difficult match for the Lions. Eduardo Berizzo’s lineup was slightly changed from the one that started the Basque Cup final against Real Sociedad last week. With Kepa gone and Iago Herrerín injured, Alex Remiro defended the sticks and Raúl García acted as the striker in place for Aritz Aduriz who was dealing with some pain.
For the opening 20 minutes Athletic were in complete control. The Lions dominated possession and their pressing worked to win the ball back very quickly. However, they were not able to create any reach chances in front of goal and it was only a matter of time before Hannover found a rhythm of their own on the counter attack. After 22 minutes the hosts would open up the scoring.
A turnover in midfield saw Athletic slow to transition into defense. Hannover had the ball on the left wing and did well to create space and put in a low cross. The ball was loose in the box and it eventually found the foot of a Hannover player who put it past Alex Remiro for the 1-0 lead. Five minutes later the Germans would double tally when Iker Muniain played a bad pass in the center of the field.
Hannover were on the counter once again and Unai Nuñez tried to run down an attack, but took a bad angle. He was left chasing the ball and Alex Remiro was left all alone to try to stop the Germans who scored again to make it 2-0. Over the course of the rest of the first half the Basques tried to turn up the pressure but still struggled to create chances.
In the second half Athletic were much better and seemed to have calmed down after surrendering two early goals. Other than forcing Remiro to make a strong save, Hannover were unable to really cause anymore damage. Instead Athletic saw Iñaki Williams, Raúl García, Iñigo Córdoba, and Yuri Berchiche all get a good look in front of goal but were unable to find the back of the net.
The game finally came to an end with Athletic having lost 2-0 despite being in control for long stretches of the match. Midfield turnovers and a failure to transition against a counter attack defeated the Lions who will now play their last preseason friendly tomorrow against Augsburg. Eduardo Berizzo will likely start a completely different lineup and all eyes will be on Aritz Aduriz who is expected to play. The La Liga season will begin on 20 August at the San Mamés as Athletic host Leganés.