Espanyol defeated Athletic Bilbao yesterday afternoon 1-0 at San Mamés thanks to a goal by debutant Martin Braithwaite in the 83rd minute.
Athletic Bilbao’s coach Ernesto Valverde reflected on the game in a post-match interview that appeared on Marca:
“It was a game that we dominated in the first half because we were getting into the box well. In the second half we lacked the freshness to translate our dominance to goal-scoring chances and gradually the opposition became more relaxed. We didn’t think we could lose the game. We needed to make better decisions in the final third, to finish chances and not get unbalanced.”
Having only had two shots on goal from 17 attempts, he believes that his side should be more clinical in front of goal:
“It’s all about dominating games and our intention is always to create chances on goal. Statistics always talk about the past and not the future. There are things to change because we want to be more clinical with our finishing. We are working on that.”
“We all know what it means to win and lose. Now we’re disappointed, but it’s clear that winning a game in Primera is very difficult. In so many games you have all kinds of matches and that’s why it’s so exciting. Without that, people wouldn’t come to the ground,” he added.