Deportivo La Coruna vs Athletic Bilbao preview - Barral reveals bizarre request

I have a say

Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by PA

Sporting Gijon striker David Barral has revealed that Deportivo La Coruna players asked him to deliberately miss the penalty he scored in added time to rescue a 2-2 draw for his side in the Primera Division on Saturday.

Deportivo had looked set to secure a vital win and move clear of the relegation zone, but were pegged back by Barral's spot-kick and are now in the bottom three with just three games left.

With Sporting already on 42 points at the time, Depor's players hoped Barral would do them a favour and miss the kick.

But the striker, although sympathetic with Depor's cause, said his only thought was to convert the penalty and win a point for his side.

"They asked me to miss it, because we are almost safe," he said.

"It's sad to see how a team suffers when they are down at the bottom, but I have a big responsibility with this team and I couldn't miss it."

Deportivo, with 39 points, now host Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday and Lotina admits it will be tough to lift his side.

"Neither of the penalties (in the game against Sporting) should have been given," he said.

"I now have to pick the players up and bring some morale back, but it will be a tremendous job."

While Deportivo hope to stay up, Athletic chase qualification for next season's Europa League.

The Basque outfit beat Levante 3-2 at the weekend and lie in fifth place outright, with 54 points.

Coach Joaquin Caparros will take charge of his 185th match, against his former club, and the Andalusian says he is honoured to become the third-longest-serving boss at Athletic.

"This is a great club and to have been here for so long is a big personal satisfaction for me," he said.

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