Illarramendi: Basque derby best-ever

Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi said the weekend’s 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao was his best-ever Basque derby.

Second-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Carlos Vela earned Philippe Montanier’s men a deserved success over their neighbours and Illaramendi [pictured, left] maintained it was one of the Txuri-urdin’s most complete performances.

“Last year we lost both games against Bilbao but as far as this game was concerned it was one of our most complete games so far and we were lucky enough to win, so we are very happy,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“In the opening 20 minutes it was back and forth and neither side could get hold of the ball, but we got better and in the second half we were superior and got the goals to give us all three points.”

Illarramendi also revealed that Montanier had changed the game plan during the half-time interval.

“The intention was that [Ander] Iturraspe would be marked by Zuru [David Zurutuza] and that between Markel [Bergara] and myself we would look after [Iker] Muniain and [Oscar] de Marcos.

“I think it worked out well because their midfield barely touched the ball after the break and we defended very well. We did so much as mark them individually but rather by area.

“I think this was my best-ever derby and the important thing was to win. The whole team enjoyed it, not just me, and I think we did very well.”

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