Ernesto Valverde rued Athletic Bilbao’s “absurd” 2-1 defeat to Espanyol on Sunday but was unhappy with his former side’s conduct in “stopping the game”.
Athletic lost ground in their late bid for La Liga’s fourth and final Champions League place after a three-minute salvo from Espanyol left them seven points behind Villarreal, who drew with Barcelona, and Valverde was disappointed with his team’s inability to create “too many chances”.
“It seemed Espanyol tried to stop the match when they were winning,” the Coach said after the game.
“It seemed like they had more physical problems and that they were those who had played on Thursday.
“Still, this is football, Espanyol won and they must be congratulated.
“In the first half, we dominated the game, but they posed us problems with Gerard [Moreno] on the counterattack.
“We had more clarity in our play and were closer to their goal, but the landscape of game was changed by two [Espanyol] counters in the second half.
“We absurdly conceded the first goal, they were encouraged by it and went on to score the second.
“Then we wanted to continue the match, but they did their best to stop it.
“Espanyol wanted the three points and we weren’t able to generate too many chances.”