Athletic Club – Real Sociedad: Iñaki Williams Stars In Intense Derby (2-0)

In a match where both sides played aggressively throughout, it took two (incredibly fortunate) goals from Iñaki Williams to separate the teams. It was a battle of two high pressing defensive units; the duels in midfield were especially intense, to the point where players were hardly afforded the time to take a second touch. 

Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley

It was an incredibly important Basque derby for both sides, and Athletic Club came into the match looking for three points that would keep them in the race for a European spot next season. They entered the twenty-ninth matchday in seventh place in the league, a position that potentially could earn them a place in the Conference League next season. Ernesto Valverde’s side have not been excellent in the league lately, but that can be chalked up to the team prioritizing their run in the Copa del Rey where they recently lost to fellow Basque side Osasuna in the semifinals over two legs. 

Athletic Club were without Óscar De Marcos and Iñigo Lekue for the derby, with Valverde having an otherwise fit squad to contend with. Unai Simón started in goal for the hosts, with Ander Capa, Yeray Álvarez, Iñigo Martínez, and Yuri Berchiche making up the back line. Dani García and Mikel Vesga made up the side’s double pivot, with Iñaki Williams, Oihan Sancet, and Nico Williams playing ahead of them. Gorka Guruzeta continued his runout at the center-forward role for Valverde’s side. 

As usual, Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad have seen a dip in their form as the season . . .

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Charlie Tuley is a junior studying sport management at the University of Michigan. He currently works as a data analyst for the San Jose Earthquakes, and does freelance football analytics on Twitter under the name @analyticslaliga. [ View all posts ]


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