PRIMERA MATCH REPORT

Primera Week 24 - 17 Feb 2013 (14.00 UK)
Malaga 1 - 0 Athletic Bilbao
Estadio La Rosaleda

Marcelo Bielsa admitted that season has been 'a negative one' for his side, whilst Manuel Pellegrini highlighted his team’s growth over the past two years.

The Basque side went down to their 12th loss of the campaign thanks to an early goal from Javier Saviola.

And the Argentine Coach has conceded that it's been a difficult six months, whilst also revealing why he dropped goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.

“We did not start the game well,” Bielsa told a Press conference. “They scored an early goal, but from the end of the first half to the end of the game we had chances.

“Our campaign has been a negative one, but we can explain all the losses. But I'd rather not talk about it.

“Iraizoz has been regularly making mistakes,” he added. “So I thought it was time for a change.

“I recognize that it was a difficult decision to make, but it's one that I made and thought was right.”

The Chilean Coach meanwhile praised his players after they defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 and cemented their place in the top four – a feat not imaginable two and a half years ago.

“We had more chances than Athletic in the second half, and although both teams played well, we had slightly better individuals.

“It was important to keep fourth place, because qualifying for the Champions League is vital for this club.

“Two years ago we had 19 points at this stage in the season. The change that has happened since then is fantastic.”


Football Italia website