Thursday, March 30, 2017

Athletic deserved more against Sevilla – Valverde

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 7 Apr 2016

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Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde believes his side deserved more out of their 2-1 loss to Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Aritz Aduriz continued his scoring form to put Athletic ahead at San Mamas Stadium just after the half-time break on Thursday, but Sevilla managed to get back into the game in the all-Spanish tie. 

A costly error from Iker Muniain gifted Timothee Kolodziejczak an equaliser for the visitors before Vicente Iborra scored the winner seven minutes from time. 

Despite Sevilla holding the advantage going into the return leg at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Valverde insists his team are not out of the tie just yet.

“I feel we deserved more. [Sevilla] is a strong opponent who finished playing with six players with 1.85 metres,” the Spanish coach said.

“Injured players have been noted especially at the beginning. I had some qualms with the fact of playing with [Inaki] Williams and Muniain because they come with two injuries, and at first I saw them a bit average but I saw that they would not be able to finish the game.

“The tie is not resolved. We go there to try to pass. We tried going to win but has cost us a lot. There will try to do the same. There is a return match and you have to play.”

Valverde labelled Muniain’s costly error as just an “accident” and called for his side to lift their heads going into the second leg.

“We had an accident, that only happens once or twice a season,” the 52-year-old said.

“We are all our own critics, and Iker suffers like everyone and this annoys him because he is a winner.

“From tomorrow, we must all raise our heads. In Sevilla we will have two chances to score, and if we take them we will turn this tie around.”

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