Real Sociedad won the derby on the day they broke the attendance record at the Reale Arena. Imanol had already said it: it is the most important game of the season for his team, and he showed it by putting a eleven aggressive, poignant, and who knew how to take advantage of the moments he had against an Athletic that made gross mistakes in the first two goals for San Sebastian and in the action that ended with the disputed penalty that sentenced the match.
Remiro, Le Normand, Diego Rico, Zubeldia, Elustondo (Gorosabel, min. 76), David Silva (Robert Navarro, min. 76), Martín Zubimendi, Merino, Brais (Illarramendi, min. 89), Sörloth (Oyarzabal, min. 49) and Take Kubo (Barrenetxea, min. 76)
Unai Simón, Daniel Vivian, Yuri, De Marcos, Yeray, O. Sancet (Oier Zarraga, min. 66), Dani García (Aitor Paredes, min. 66), Nico Williams, Vesga, Williams (Muniain, min. 76) and Guruzeta (Berenguer, min. 57)
goals 1-0 min. 24: Sorloth. 2-0 min. 37: Take Kubo. 2-1 min. 40: O. Sancet. 3-1 min. 62: Oyarzabal.
Referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez
Yellow cards Take Kubo (min. 37), Dani García (min. 43), Sörloth (min. 48), Zubeldia (min. 52), Daniel Vivian (min. 60), Le Normand (min. 83) and Martín Zubimendi (min. .93)
They announce cold weather for Sunday, snow 200 meters away and a flight of televisions with their reporters in down jackets, looking for the white mountains, children sledding and a car with ten centimeters of icy blanket to remove with their hands live during the newscast. But when Real and Athletic appeared on the field, the weather was still mild, even though it began to blow from the north, as if it were not January, which it never is anymore, because the Atocha mud was not transplanted to Anoeta. The field is never an alibi for a bad pass or an unfortunate control.
So Real Sociedad and Athletic prefer not to play what for decades was called northern football and everything that was associated with it. It’s not like that. They want a more attractive game; Real associates better, Athletic is more vertical, but the derby arrives and everything learned is forgotten and they play for something else, for what each one can, for what the rival leaves them. They can pressure and passion.
But even so, proper names appear that give the party personality. First it is Brais who puts his stamp on him with a shot from outside the area, although then the Galician shuts down for almost the rest of the night. Then Iñaki Williams, who puts faith in a shot at a ball that his brother Nico gives him and that Remiro deflects to a corner. It’s funny what happens on the pitch while Imanol and Valverde scream. They are not amused by what they see. Except for the Athletic coach, who does not conceive of De Marcos’s mistake, who gets hooked on an offside exit, and who allows Sörloth to shoot Unai Simón in the middle of the area’s desert to open the scoring and the appetite of his companions. Ten minutes later they satiate him when Silva was decisive again. The canary, who gave the pass that triggered the play prior to 1-0, stole the ball from Vesga and put it as he knows how for Kubo. The Japanese hit Vivian with a pipe and stunned Unai with his shot near the post.
It is total happiness in Anoeta, except for the red and white corner, devastated by the two sparks from San Sebastian. Two defensive errors, two goals and the beginning of a small disaster. The cement that Valverde tried to put in the center of the field cracked as soon as Real put his pick. But a derby has many edges, and four minutes later the stands remain silent when Yuri receives on the left, gives the perfect pass to Sancet, who almost without an angle, and with a cross shot, surpasses Remiro to close the difference and leave everything up to chance of the second part.
Or to the fate of the referee, who contrary to the criteria of his boss, allergic to penalties, decided that Yeray’s shoulder charge against Kubo was deserving of double punishment, because he not only pointed out the fateful point but also showed him the red card. to the rojiblanco defender. When Mikel Oyarzabal took the penalty and scored his first goal since returning from injury — the captain hadn’t scored for ten months — the derby on the pitch ended. Of course, everything had been born from a rude error by Nico Williams, who without looking decided to give the ball back from midfield. Like the flutter of a butterfly, his wrong decision triggered the subsequent disaster for Athletic.
The cold that they announce for Sunday will become more bearable in San Sebastián; triumph tempers spirits. In Bilbao, the north wind, the one that comes from the Bay of Biscay, will cut like a knife until next weekend, when Madrid arrives at San Mamés. Then everything will start again.
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