Barcelona was sent crashing out of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals
Athletic Club vs Barcelona: What a night in the Copa del Rey. Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona OUT from the competition. Athletic Club and Real Sociedad join Mirandes and Granada in the semi-finals of Copa del Rey. Barcelona made just one change to the side that had beaten Levante at the weekend; with Roberto coming in in place of Griezmann.
Lionel Messi spurned a wonderful late chance for the visitors; when he could only shoot at the legs of keeper Unai Simon whereas his fellow striker Antoine Griezmann also came close in the second half. Barcelona has won the Copa del Rey Cup a record thirty times but joins Real Madrid in being knocked out after Zidane’s side was beaten 4-3 at home to Real Sociedad.
Spanish striker Williams glanced a cross into the bottom corner to spark jubilant scenes; at a rocking San Mames stadium and recalled Aritz Aduriz’s added-time goal in Athletic’s 1-0 win at home to Barca on the first day of the Liga season. They join Real Sociedad, Granada, and second-tier Mirandes in Friday’s semi-final draw; which will not include Real Madrid, Barca, and Atletico Madrid for the first time in 17 years.
Barcelona Coach said-
it’s hurt by the elimination but they pleased with his side’s performance. Today everything went well except the result, We took a step forward in our play and I am pleased with several things we did, I am not only looking at the result.”
Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona: Match turning point
Barca captain Lionel Messi’s extraordinary pass looked to have given de Jong the possibility to open the scoring shortly; before the hour mark but he tried to round the keeper; and Dutchman goes down after appearing to be tripped by the onrushing keeper Simon; but rather than win a penalty he is booked for diving.
Griezmann replaces Ansu Fati and soon had probably the best chance of the game; denied by the legs of Unai Simon after Roberto’s clever pull back. The game looked to be heading into extra time when Williams missed a gilt-edged chance inside the area; but he made amends by getting the slightest of touches on a cross from Gomez in the 3rd minute of injury time.
The victory must have also felt like redemption for Athletic; who were knocked out of the Copa del Rey Cup by Catalans in 2017 and 2016 and lost to them in the final in 2009, 2012, and 2015.
The Catalans have appeared in the last six finals; but they join Real Madrid in being knocked out after Zidane’s side was beaten 4-3 at home to Real Sociedad earlier on Thursday.