Focus Time : Ronald Araujo vs Athletic Bilbao (1-1)

The Catalans went to Bilbao to play their first away match in the league. After a successful night at Camp Nou, they intended to continue collecting three points. The team always struggles against Bilbao, especially in the San Mamés. It wasn’t different this time either, and the teams ended the game with a draw. Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia started in the defense. Pique wasn’t 100% at the start of the match, and he couldn’t continue the match after 30 minutes. Ronald Araujo came on to replace Piqué vs Athletic. Let’s see how the Uruguayan did!

He didn’t have much time to warm up, and despite that, he got into the rhythm of the match right away and once again showed how reliable he can be. Bilbao’s pressure caused a big problem for the two young defenders, Araujo and Eric Garcia. However, thanks to the Uruguayan as well, the team avoided conceding more than once. His biggest save was in the 48th minute when Garcia and Neto made a mistake and no one was in front of the goal, but Araujo ran there and cleared the coming ball before it could get to the net. It reminded me of Puyol’s famous save against Lokomotiv in 2002.

Puyol’s famous save

The disallowed bicycle kick goal

Before the end of the first half, Araujo scored an amazing disallowed goal in the box. The goalkeeper came saved the ball in the air, but the cleared ball got to Araujo, who finished it perfectly with a bicycle kick. However, the referee disallowed the goal because of Braithwaite’s foul previously. Although, It was a controversial and not obvious foul.

Ronald Araujo had a very decent performance once again and reminded Koeman that he deserves to be a starter. Hopefully, we will see more of the Garcia-Araujo duo in the next matches, because the more they play together the more reliable they will be.

Statistics (Sofascore)

  • 59 minutes played
  • Clearance X1
  • Clearance off the line X1
  • Blocked shot X1
  • Possession lost X7
  • Foul X1
  • Accurate passes – 84%
  • 43 touches

Rating: 8/10

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