Valverde: Penalty a turning point

Ernesto Valverde lamented the decision not to award Athletic Bilbao a penalty for Asier Illarramendi’s handball in Sunday’s Basque derby with Real Sociedad.

The midfielder appeared to take the fizz out of Aritz Aduriz’s shot with his arm in the box shortly before half-time, and the Coach admits the incident proved to be a turning point in the match.

“Our performance in the second half was not as good as our one in the first,” he said after the game.

“Still, the penalty [which ultimately wasn’t given their way] could have changed the match and been decisive [for us].

“Real asked a lot of us because they pressed well. We needed to take a step forward for the win and tried to be in control from the start.”

Tags Basque derby Ernesto Valverde