Posts Tagged ‘Sporting Gijon’

CD Leganes v Sporting Gijon, Saturday 4th February 2023, 4.15pm

February 21, 2023

Jen and I like to get to Spain fairly frequently and this trip was another one based around flying into Madrid. I arrived early morning from the Middle East with Jen having spent the previous night at an airport hotel. Our plan was to stay three nights in Avila and then head back to Madrid for an evening out prior to catching our return flights the following day.

First up was some hiking. We broke the journey to Avila at the Fuenfria valley and walked up into the hills. There was still snow on the ground and as we gained height, I regretted not having any of those spikey things with me to slip over my boots. We didn’t see much in the way of wildlife, a couple of those big soary-type birds and a dog in the car park that might have been half-bear, but it was good to get out into the hills.

We’ve taken a similar approach in the past where we pick up a hire car in Madrid and motor out of the city for an hour or so to places like Toledo or Segovia. Avila was just as good, with a medieval wall around the town and sufficient bars and restaurants to meet the needs of someone who hadn’t had a drink for the previous six weeks.

As you might have expected, I’d checked out the nearby fixtures and Real Avila had a game on the Sunday. There were a few options for Saturday, and I picked a game at Leganes mainly on the basis that an afternoon kick-off wouldn’t impact upon the evening activities. I was also influenced by Leganes having an ex-Boro player turning out for them. Or at least they usually do. Ken Omeruo, a long-term loanee under Mogga and Karanka, is a regular for Leganes these days, but, as is often the way, picked up an injury after I’d booked the tickets.

I took the scenic route from Avila and it was an enjoyable drive to the outskirts of Madrid. We left the car in a Decathlon car park five minutes’ walk from the Estadio Municipal de Butarque and headed around to the south stand.

The tickets had cost thirty euros each and we were able to have them scanned directly from my phone at the entrance gate. Our seats were behind one of the goals in an open section. There was just the one covered stand and the twelve thousand capacity looks to be about right for a fairly unfashionable Madrid team in the second tier.

There was a small section of Sporting Gijon fans in the corner to the side of our section. This was supplemented by a few more fans on the other side of the fence and then the odd one or two dotted about near us. The doesn’t seem to be any real rivalry between the clubs, or if there is, it didn’t extend to any animosity between the supporters.

Oddly, the floodlights were on long before kick-off, despite the bright sunshine. Maybe there are tighter restrictions on utility company profits in Spain. Highlight of the first half was the visit of the churros bloke. He wandered around the stand selling three churros with a cup of chocolate dip for three and a half euros.

Leganes went a goal up inside three minutes with a shot from the edge of the box that sneaked through a crowd of players and ended up in the net. They were well on top at that stage and could easily have put the game out of Gijon’s reach if they had taken one or two of the chances that they created. The momentum changed ten minutes before the break though when a yellow card was changed to a red after a VAR intervention and the home side found themselves a man down.

As the second half went on, the visitors grew in confidence and looked likely to take something from the game. Or at least they did until the ref evened up the numbers with a few minutes to go. Every time there was a Gijon foul, and sometimes when there wasn’t, the Leganes players had been agitating for cards. It finally paid off with a red in the closing stages.

With the numbers down to ten a side Leganes were able to see it out and take the points. We took a more direct route back to Avila for a prompt start on the tapas and rioja.