Valverde: Best was our response

Ernesto Valverde refused to criticise Athletic Bilbao for a 2-2 draw at home to Elche, taking value instead in their comeback.

The Basques fell to a 2-0 deficit early into the second half with Aaron Niguez following up David Lomban’s first-half effort.

However, goals from Markel Susaeta and Aritz Aduriz secured a point and maintained Athletic’s unbeaten start to life at the new San Mames.

“I would not say that we started badly, but that Elche started very well,” considered Valverde after the result.

“We have been overcome in the beginning and we have not been too vertical for the entire first half. During the second half we have been hit too hard for what was happening and in an isolated play they made it 2-0.

“The best thing is that the team did not collapse, we were able to come back. Perhaps we can regret the chances from Muniain and Toquero when we could have been more accurate.

“In La Liga, beyond the top three, there are not many differences and we are all there. Now it appears that we are a little higher, but for that we have to do very well and give value to our opponents as Elche has proven today. They were a vertical opponent, fast and dangerous.”

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