Pucela overcome Athletic Club ... and the rain ... for first win!
Sunday 8th November, 2020
Estadio José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain
REAL VALLADOLID 2
Fabián Orellana (Pen) 19’, Marcos Andre 48’
ATHLETIC CLUB 1
Iñaki Williams (Pen) 86’
Real Valladolid finally picked up their first win of the season, beating Athletic Club 2-1 at home. A first half penalty by Fabián Orellana was added to by Marcos André, but an Iñaki Williams penalty halved the deficit and ensured Pucela were made to hang on for the victory.
After eight matches without collecting maximum points, and a 2-0 defeat at Villarreal still ringing in their ears, Sergio’s side were rock bottom in the table heading into this fixture. Their opponents, too, were enduring a rocky start to their campaign with just three wins from their opening seven attempts.
The Real Valladolid coach welcomed left-back Nacho into the fold following his suspension after a red card picked up in the 2-0 loss against Deportivo Alavés and Luis Pérez dropped to the bench in favour of Pablo Hervías to provide some offensive input on the opposite flank.
Changes were made in attack with the 4-2-3-1 setup making way for a standard 4-4-2 and Sergi Guardiola returned to be partnered up front by Marcos André for his second start of the season, as Waldo and Shon Weissman made way for them.
Showing a confidence that had been missing from their previous outings, Real Valladolid looked comfortable from the outset. They made the breakthrough midway through the first period when visiting goalkeeper Unai Simón followed up a heavy touch from a back-pass to make a rash challenge on Marcos André who went sprawling in the box. Penalty duties fell to Orellana and the Chilean dispatched the spot-kick with composure to edge his side in front.
Sergi Guardiola had a gilt-edged opportunity to put Pucela firmly in command but, as he slid in at the back post to connect with Hervías’ driven ball across the face of goal, he failed to hit the target.
In the second half, Marcos André doubled the advantage when he scored his first goal for the senior side. Óscar Plano delivered the ball from the left to Rubén Alcaraz in the penalty arc who played it into Orellana’s path. The scorer of the opening goal touched it onto Hervías whose shot at goal was parried by Simón and the Brazilian striker was quickest to react and stab home.
Athletic grew more into the match as the second half progressed but found Jordi Masip keeping them at bay with two crucial interventions in as many minutes. Substitute Asier Villalibre connected with Yuri Berchiche’s cross but Masip acrobatically repelled his angled header. He then forced Williams wide in a 1v1 situation, eventually blocking the striker’s effort for a corner.
However, Athletic did find a way past him. Luis Pérez had replaced Hervías and lunged in foolishly on Berchiche right on the white of the paint as the left-back burst into the box. Williams coolly lifted the penalty past the flat-footed Masip and set up a nerve-racking conclusion to the match, but Pucela stood firm and were rewarded with their first victory of the campaign.