Good team victory
The first half was spectacular. The team came out all guns blazing – winning the ball back, spreading the ball around and creating danger, pegging back the opposition in a first half very similar to the 2nd game of the season when the team beat Albacete with ease. Xavi Calm chose the same starting 11 that came from behind to beat Palamós the week before 2-1. René in goal behind Luca, Ignasi, Iñaki and Delgado in defence. A double pivot of Armando and Damián flanked by Canario, and José Fran and Manel and Vini upfront. On the CE Sabadell bench was an old acquaintance of the ATB fans; ‘the shark’ Toni Gabarre. Curiously the only opposition chance in the first half was in the 2nd minute from a long range effort into the hands of René from Aguza. Easy. In the 10th minute Canario took a corner that fell to Iñaki who had the chance to mark his contract renewal with a goal – his shot was weak, but Vinicius was there to touch home for the Brazilian’s second goal of the season. In the 23rd minute great play between Caranio and Luca, the former playing a lovely backheel, saw the fullback setting up Manel from the by-line who nearly scored with a backheel of his own. A beautiful move. The danger was mostly coming from the right wing for ATB, despite Ignasi and José Fran putting in their own good crosses. Another beautiful move in the 25th minute started by Armando played in Manel, who attempted to set up José Fran who was just unable to reach the ball to fire home. The second goal was coming, and it would arrive in the 27th minute from Armando who put in a huge physical effort; winning the ball before driving forward and waiting for the run of Vinicius before serving the ball on a plate for the Brazilian to score one on one. His second of the game and third of the season. But ATB still wanted more. In the 29th Manel nearly got on the scoresheet with a good shot from inside the area after several blocked efforts but the ball just went wide. The possession, the opportunities and the game were all in ATB’s favour. The two teams went in at 2-0 at the break.
After the restart Antonio Hidalgo made four changes for Sabadell, including ex Balearico Gabarre and changed the system to a 3-4-3. The first quarter of an hour carried on the same. Aguza almost scored in the 50th minute but Delgado made the block – this was a confident game from the defender and along with Iñaki both were solid and reliable. Canario tried his luck in the 52nd minute, his good effort going just wide. From the resulting corner a glancing header from Iñaki found Vini whose shot came back off the crossbar, denying him a hattrick. Luckily Luca Ferrone was there to sweep in the rebound for his second goal of the season, continuing his good form. The game was pretty much done and dusted in the 55th minute. Gabarre had a chance to reduce the distance in the 59th minute, but René was there to make the save. Sabadell finally found a consolation goal in the 71st minute, a great strike from a tight angle from Jacobo. Ignasi tried to respond three minutes later in the 74th by surprising Royo from a direct free kick but his near post effort went into the side netting. Xavi Calm had brought on Pedro Orfila for José Fran, the first involvement this season for the left back, and pushing Ignasi forwards but he would then be moved to right back to accommodate a double change. Robles and Hugo came on – the winger coming back only three weeks after his injury in the Di Stéfano stadium. Both teams had good chances for the remaining minutes – both with two solid chances. Good crosses from Robles either went just milometers past the onrushing Hugo or the resulting header was saved by the keeper. In the dying moments Josep Jaume came on the join Armando in the midfield and canterano Toni Florit – from the youth División de Honor – also came on. Both gave a strong performance for the last few minutes. Hugo had a shot that rattled the post, but this was the last chance of the game. The match ending at 3-1 and ATB staying within six points of Villarreal with 19 from a possible 27 points and still unbeaten.
Atlético Baleares: 13. René, 12. Luca Ferrone (80′ 2. Robles), 20. Ignasi, 4. Olaortua, 5. Delgado, 6. Armando, 21. Petcoff (89′ 15. Josep Jaume), 7. José Fran (67′ 22. Pedro Orfila), 10. Canario (c) (80′ 16. Hugo), 9. Vinicius (89′ 29. Florit) and 11. Manel.
CE Sabadell: 13. Royo, 4. Aleix Coch (c) (29′ 15. Morgado), 6. Molina, 10. Boniquet, 11. Néstor, 12. Rubio, 16. Aguza, 17. Alfred, 19. Kaxe, 21. Aarón Rey and 23. D. Sánchez.
Referee: Santos Castilla.
Booked for ATB: Petcoff, Vinicius and Robles.
Booked for CE Sabadell: Aguza and Indias.
Estadio Balear: 2.200 Spectators.
Post Match Comments:
Xavi Calm: “It wasn’t easy. The first half we ran a lot, we won the ball, we made a lot of interceptions, and I think that it was the best first half this season, we were pressing very high. It’s true that in the second half the physical levels dropped because it’s impossible to keep that up for 90 minutes, and they’re a good team. The first half we won the ball a lot as they were trying to build play; Petcoff, Armando and the wingers all helped. The central midfielders did that very well, they were key in the first half. I expect that Hidalgo wanted to change the rhythm with four changes at half time and changing the system, and they achieve that somewhat with quality players with fresh legs. It made things difficult for us in the second half. From now we will work towards the game at Castellón. Manel and Vini had a great game. The players who are out have repsonded with hard work and motivation. We have covered them and we carry on competing. The work of everyone is clear to see, they play and give everything, working for the team, what will be will be.
Strikers depend on goals. It’s important, they live for that and if they don’t score they’re not happy. I’m happy for Vini because of his goals and the many things he did well, working hard, tracking back… He has to keep supporting the team, like the others do. I am happy with the points we’ve earned, you can always earn more, but you can also have less. We had to step it up with the pace of the ball and today we managed it. Tactically we had to improve and we did that too, we have to keep improving. Now to rest and to focus on Castellón. Villarreal are strong, they don’t lose or draw but we must focus on ourselves, keep accumulating points and work hard, be humble and work like we have up until now and try to improve.”
Vinicius: “The ball touched me a bit, I touched it. It’s a goal. The important thing is the win, not just my goals, today we played well. It’s very important for me and for the team that I score, that I run a lot, I talked with the manager this week, he asked me to help the team more, I ran a lot and thanks to God I scored. We started very well, pressing high, they made four changes but we held off the pressure, we know how to suffer and get the win”
Canario: “We knew the level of the opposition, we know their potential depsie being lower down the table. We played the best first half since Albacete, they made changes and that made a difference in the second half. Today we pressed really well, like against Albacete and that allowed us to win the ball, counter quickly and put them under pressure at the back. We dealt well with Sabadell and the result was fair on the first half”.