Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino accepts Valencia draw for first-leg of Copa semi

Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelino accepted their 1-1 draw with Valencia after the first-leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal at San Mames.

It was a physical and intense match which was full of stoppages. Raúl García gave Athletic the lead before the break, but Hugo Duro managed to level for Valencia in the 65th minute.

“The opponents play in a way they think suits them best and we knew what that would entail before the match,” Marcelino said at his post-match press conference.

“I feel we could have more ambitious and got into their area more, but in the second half we moved away from our game and started playing theirs. Nonetheless, I’m still proud of my players’ work.

“The result was tight because neither team was able to dominate the match.”

The manager believes the second leg at Mestalla will be similar to Monday night’s match, saying: “Almost all our results are the same. We’ll see a similar match and the team which get the little details right will take the tie.

“We’re going to go there to fight, work hard, play our game and aim to win. It’s normal that the tie would always be decided in Mestalla because we’re two very evenly-matched sides.”

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