At the beginning the two teams were just "sampling" each other. Nothing much happened for about 8 minutes (except for Bojinov being kicked to the ground by a Basque player in the 5th minute), then in the 8th minute came a dangerous Bilbao-attack from the left side. Fabricio saved big, heading the ball out of the goalmouth.
After this we were back to the not too decisive, rather cautious ball-passing. Basques possessed the ball more, but they seemed as if they don't know what to do with it. Meanwhile we started to get stuck in our half.
In the 16th minute a weak pass arrived from the right, it flew away through the goalmouth. Fabricio headed it out.
Fabricio was the hero of the day, the Brazilian was in top form.
Then in the 18th minute Bilbao got a corner kick. Benat shot it to the goalmouth, someone headed it to the goal, Živko Živković had a great save.
I don’t even know how many goal attempts Živko Živković saved tonight. His hands should be engilded right now, and his gloves must be put on display. Available to see only for groups, for a certain admission charge.
The match went on in its rather slow pace. Bilbao-players were passing to each other, while we built a brickwall around our penalty area.
In the 24th minute Williams passed the ball to the side to Aduriz. Aduriz sent it back to Williams, finally Partizan-defenders kicked it out. Two minutes later Basques got a free kick, 22 metres from our goal line, on the left. Benat stood behind the ball, he shot, Živko Živković saved.
In the 30th minute Williams played the same trick as in the 24th minute with Aduriz. He kicked the ball to the left side, got it back, then passed it to Aduriz (mentioned above) in the middle. Aduriz headed it to our goal line, but it was too high.
In the 32nd minute Bilbao scored their first goal. They ran up on the right, Aduriz possessed the ball, he passed it to the middle, Raúl García headed it into our net. 0:1
In the 35th minute Aduriz got a pass from the distance. The assistant didn’t wave for offside, the striker ran up with two Partizan-defenders around him. They both tried to inactivate Aduriz, but despite their efforts Aduriz shot. Živko Živković again had a fantastic save.
Then in the 39th minute we could break out of the bunker a bit. Fabricio and Stevanović passed the ball to each other, tricking around Bilbao-players, then Stevanović ran up and passed the ball to the middle - the only problem was that Bojinov, who arrived in the middle, kicked into the ankle of a Bilbao-player instead of the ball.
Average Fan went out to the kitchen and started to cry.
There was one action left for the 42nd minute. Andrija Živković got the ball on the right, he dribbled a bit and shot from the penalty area line. It was too high.
In the second half, at the 50th minute we almost scored an own goal. Raúl García got the ball a few metres from our goal line. Fabricio interrupted, kicking the ball out of the field. It flew out just a few centimetres from the goalpost.
In the 54th minute we got a free kick, about 30 metres from the goal line. Fabricio stood behind the ball, he shot, barely missing the opponent’s goal (it seemed as it slightly hit the goalpost). Three minutes later Benat got the ball in the middle. He shot from 18 metres, Živko Živković presented the Saving of the Day.
The pace was slow, nothing else happened on the field. Basque players didn’t seem to have any wish to speed things up, while we were just there... Oh, and the referee also didn’t seem to be on the top. There was one action in the 69th minute, Bilbao got a free kick, shot by Benat from 17 metres, on the left side. It was dangerous, Živko Živković again had a great save.
At this point the match totally slowed down. Nothing ever happened for 10 massive minutes. Finally in the 79th minute substitute player Grbić got the ball from Petrović. Grbić ran up to the penalty area, kicked the ball back to Petrović, Petrović shot it to the middle, but nobody could run up fast enough to catch it. Basque players immediately had a counter-attack, Williams shot, missing our goal only with millimetres.
In the 83rd minute Ninković got the ball on the left. He dribbled at the penalty area line then shot, it was too high.
Two minutes later Bilbao scored their second goal. They got a free kick about 25 metres from our goal line. Benat stood behind the ball and kicked it into our net with a classic movement. 0:2
Our one and only real attempt happened in the 90+3rd minute. After a corner kick Fabricio headed the ball almost from the goal line, but the goalkeeper saved it.
If there’s any video with the match highlights, I’ll post it. Until then you get Grave Diggers.
Venue: Partizan Stadion, Belgrade
Number of spectators: 17 000
Referee: Pawel Raczkowski (assistants: Tomasz Listkiewicz, Michal Obukowicz - 4th assistant: Pawel Sokolniczki - goal line assistants: Marcin Borski, Tomasz Kwiatkowski) - POL
FK Partizan: Ž. Živković - Vulićević, Ostojić, Fabricio, Leković - A. Živković, Lukić, Petrović, Ninković (Trujić, 84.), Stevanović (Šaponjić, 79.) - Bozsinov (Grbić, 64.)
Head coach: Ljubinko Drulović
Athletic Bilbao: Herrerin - de Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga - Williams (Boveda, 85.), San José, Raúl García, Benat (Elustondo, 90.), Susaeta (Merino, 55.) - Adruiz
Head coach: Ernesto Valverde
Goal scorers: Raúl García (32.), Benat (85.)
Yellow card: Lukić (62.), Benat (42.), de Marcos (51.), Laporte (53.), Ostojić (84.)
Current standing of Group L:
1. Athletic Bilbao 6 points
2. Partizan 6 points
3. AZ Alkmaar 3 points
4. Augsburg 3 points
(photos: Facebook/Fudbalski klub Partizan)