He Athletic Club maintains its dream of qualifying for the soccer Champions League with a rout at RCD Mallorca in San Mamés, a unappealable 4-0 materialized with two goals from Yuri Berchiche in two set pieces with strange shots, a third that rewarded the great game of Gorka Guruzeta and a fourth that put the icing on the cake Iker Muniain.
Yuri’s second and third goals so far this season and the tenth of ‘Gurugol’, the ninth in the League, they gave Athletic its sixth consecutive victory in San Mamés in the regularity championship and the eighth if we add the Copa del Rey victory that it also solved in that section in ‘La Catedral’.
With these three points, the set of Ernesto Valverde It supports its fifth place, now just two points behind the third and fourth, of Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona, waiting for this 23rd matchday to conclude. The sixth, Real Sociedad, once again provisionally distances them to nine points.
Furthermore, this result encourages the Basque team facing the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey who will face Atlético on Wednesday at the Civitas Metropolitano.
Hard blow to Mallorca
For Mallorca, for its part, the defeat leaves it at the expense of the day getting even closer to a relegation from which it continues to four points and three positions. And it supposes a hard emotional blow also facing the cup semi-finals, which opens on Tuesday with the first leg against Real in Son Moix.
On the way out Valverde gave Vivian a rest, He kept Yeray in the eleven and returned Paredes to the eleven, with whom he showed confidence in the three center backs; Aguirre, for his part, also dispensed with Sergi Darder and decided on Larin in attack, to the detriment of Muriqi and Abdón Prats.
Yuri’s scoring debut
It was not possible to know if the Mexican’s plan was the right one because by the 3rd minute Athletic had taken the lead on the scoreboard and by the 16th they had almost turned the match in their favor with two goals from Yuri in set pieces kicked by Nico Williams.
The first, after a foul by Valjent on his brother Iñaki, was finished off by Yuri with his back to the goal and with a ‘spoon’; The second, a corner, had a valuable collaboration in Guruzeta, who played spur so that Yuri, almost with a foreshortening, placed the ball in the corner with his bad leg, the right one.
Two rare shots from a scoring left back, although with shots, they left a match very tilted in favor of the locals in which, despite the red and white dominance, there were several vermilion arrivals. An easy header for Simón de Valjient and two high shots from Mascarell and Antonio Sánchez, this one after a good play, was what Mallorca obtained, surpassed by the Bilbao strike.
And it could have been even worse for the Balearic Islands, who saw how Rajkovic, who had been unable to cope with Yuri’s strange shots, He avoided 3-0 on another almost as difficult ball in the 32nd minute.
Guruzeta’s tenth goal
Although in that a classic play in San Mamés. A perfect cross from the right by De Marcos, an even better header from Guruzeta that deserved to make it 3-0 and a tremendous hand from the Serbian goalkeeper that gave even more brilliance to the play.
The red and white’s third goal did not come in that play and it seemed that it was going to do so in the next one when Figueroa Vázquez awarded a penalty for a slip by Nico in the area. The VAR came in to undo the mistake and the obvious prevailed over the error.
A deflected shot by Iñaki Williams was the last notable thing in a clearly local first half on the scoreboard and in the game.
On the way back from the locker room he Athletic He threatened again after Raíllo slipped on the front edge. Nico got the ball but Valjent arrived to deflect his shot for a corner.
That play opened the spigot of the Bilbao siege, which chained four consecutive chances in two minutes. Two more shots from Williams and Sancet cleared for a corner by the rival defense, a header against Yeray’s post after a corner kick by Galarreta and a one-on-one by Iñaki against Rajkovic in which the eldest of the Williams remembered his worst finishing afternoons by throwing a splendid pass from Guruzeta into the goalkeeper’s body. .
Athletic missed several opportunities in a row and was about to pay for it because, as soon as they took the field, Nacho Vidal finished off a corner taken by Dani Rodríguez alone, although into the hands of a firm Simón.
Mallorca did not take advantage of its great opportunity and Athletic no longer forgave. Because in an immediate counterattack well managed by Nico Williams Guruzeta achieved 3-0 and the reward for his great game. Nico opened up to his brother, Iñaki crossed, Sancet missed the shot attempt and Guru, with the rod at the far post, hit the net like he should do a ‘9’. Initially it was signaled offside, but the VAR reviewed the action and validated the goal.
Muniain put the cherry on top with a final goal, in the 89th minute, shortly after taking the field. The captain finished off at will a cross from De Marcos, the second captain, from the right.