The perfect catharsis. Impossible to imagine the reaction of a team that has found its food in the Cup to become invincible. As in the past, Athletic bites into this competition that will put two titles within two weeks. Four times in their history, the Biscayne has played two consecutive finals, the last in seasons 84 and 85. There was a year to go before Raúl García was born. Narration and statistics 1-2
Marcelino’s arrival on the bench has been the hand of a saint for a group that has found itself catapulted by the creativity of Muniain, the instinct of Raul Garcia, the sweet moment of Iñaki Williams, and even the fate of Alex Berenguer. In the Ciutat de Valencia, they eagerly sought a victory that the rival did not make it easy for them. The Levant resisted with their weapons, but it was not enough. The glory dressed this Thursday in rojiblanco.
Athletic wanted to impose stripes from the start and Raul Garcia adjusted a ball to Aitor Fernández’s post as a warning. Paco Lopez’s team did not break down, waiting for his moment to strike. He makes a virtue out of the opponent’s error. Commander Morales got rid of De Marcos with a pipe to leave Roger before Unai Simón. The Gunman scrambled and dialed. One chance, one goal.
ASSIMILATION OF AUTOMATISMS
It did not take long for the rojiblancos to answer, as well as to make the game more their own with each passing minute. The Levante had struck, but did not tie it up. That didn’t change in the 120 minutes. With more intention of taking the ball played to the area, Williams martyred the three centrals with whom Paco López was clothed.
The assimilation of Marcelino’s automatisms has been meteoric. As he fell on the wing to exploit his speed, the captain drew diagonals and Raúl García attacked the centers with the faith of a warrior. In one of those battles, Duarte overwhelmed him in the area. Del Cerro forgave the expulsion of the granola, but Aitor’s stretch did not serve to stop the launch. The scoreboard returned a score too common between the two teams.
The draw disoriented a Levante who began to doubt. It was difficult for him to get out of the pressure and, although he was trying to find Morales and De Frutos, the losses caused a lot of danger. The best granola occasion was a Miramon cross that cleared the Yeray post, but the path of the dressing room was marked by a timid blow from Muniain at the hands of Aitor.
The Athletic plan did not change and gave the goalkeeper more work with a hard shot from Unai Lopez. Levante moved a tab looking for more control with Bardhi and gave the feeling that they were achieving it. It was a passing effect. The chances were still rojiblancas and with the same protagonists, Raul Garcia scrambled in the small area to invent a high heel that enabled Williams for a too-crossed shot. Another mistake that would be followed by a false start by Aitor.
Levante was already gripped by the certainty that Athletic’s second goal condemned them and Marcelino’s team, who kept the changes, had just enough strength to hold on to extra time. But his harassment did not stop. With less freshness, he continued pushing as the best way to put many meters between the granolas and Unai Simón, who only showed off to get a direct free from Bardhi by hand. The door of the final was opened by Berenguer with a shot from outside the area that touched Vukcevic.