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27.01.2008 11:07

Results not coming at the Cathedral

Jesús Carrillo

Despite good hopes early on, things are not going as well as expected in Bilbao. Staring relegation in the face and with a place in the cup semi finals under threat, Athletic is a historic club enduring hard times.

After last year’s elections president Fernando García Macua promised major changes to the first team. Manager Joaquín Caparrós was the first person to be drafted in, followed by the signings of Sevilla’s Aitor Ocio, Navarrans Iñaki Muñoz and David López from Osasuna, David Cuéllar of Nàstic Tarragona and also former Espanyol keeper Gorka Iraizoz. Santi Ezquerro was also targeted, but eventually opted to stay at Barça.

Few points in Bilbao

GETAFE-ATHLETIC1.jpgAthletic Club are fifteenth, but equal on points with Murcia, who are in the relegation zone. Caparrós’ side have been especially poor at home, where they have only won two games out of ten, with six ending in draws. The strikers have only mustered nine goals between them while eight have been conceded. Bilbao are finding it hard to win, but the fact is that other sides are also finding it hard to get three points from trips to San Mamés.

Better moments for Athletic

But there have been some good moments too. The 2-0 win at San Mamés against Sevilla, for one, and a terrific performance away to Valencia, when the Lions won 3-0. But they have only beaten Sevilla and Recreativo at home, while away wins have been collected at Valencia, Levante and Valladolid.
Results not coming at the Cathedral
Saved at the last
Last season Athletic came the closest they have ever come to being relegated to the second division. On June 17 at San Mamés, Mané’s side won 2-0 against Levante, while a draw or defeat would have seen them take the drop for the first time in their proud history. Goals from Gabilondo and an own goal from defender Serrano meant that it was Real Sociedad and Celta that joined Tarragona in the second division.

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