Athletic Club suffered their first defeat of the season on Sunday when they fell 1-0 to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. For the most part it was an open game between the two sides, but a late goal from Loic Remy was the difference maker. Following the final whistle, manager Kuko Ziganda spoke to the media and said that his team controlled a lot of the aspects of the game, but were not able to do much with their chances. He says that Remy’s substitution changed the flow of the match.
“We had control of the match in many phases and I feel that we had clear enough chances to score a goal, but that did not materialize. Our opponent caught us with some counterattacks with fast and strong players. They earned the three points with individual play. Our goal in this game was to win, but that did not happen. Bringing on Remy changed the game and stretched us. It isn’t always a situation of results, but of sensations and growing.”
Ziganda went on to say that the Lions lost control of the wings and were forced to attack through the middle of the pitch, which caused problems. The team doesn’t have much time to think about this loss with Atletico Madrid coming to the San Mamés on Wednesday, which is a game that the manager says the team is very excited about.
“We lost the wings and played with the ball more inside. We lacked tranquility and maybe we hurried things by playing inside. We lacked the open field and they did more with their chances. We played more with our hearts than with our heads. We lacked the decisiveness and confidence to finish our chances. We have only little time to think about the defeat. Wednesday, at the San Mamés, we expect a very demanding opponent in Atletico Madrid. That type of game motivates and excited us a lot.”
Athletic Club saw their clean sheet streak end at five consecutive games with Remy’s goal on Sunday. Still, Ziganda’s defense has been playing at a high level all season and will need to be at their best on Wednesday when they host Atletico Madrid. Several starters were rested against Las Palmas and are expected to be back in the lineup for the midweek contest. If the Basque giants can at least take a point off of Atletico it will be seen as a good result, but they will be going for all three at the San Mamés.