A dogged Athletic Bilbao side have ensured Barcelona’s Copa del rey title defence ends in vain as they claim victory over the Catalan giants, thereby advancing to the quarter final of the cup competiton. 3-2 it ended in San Mames.
Athletic Bilbao came into the game after a Spanish supercup final loss to Real Madrid but soon made their intents to win known in the game early.
Bilbao opened scoring two minutes into the match through Iker Munian.
Munian lashed onto a well-driven low cross into the box by Nico Williams to put Bilbao ahead. It took The Catalan giants a while to settle into the game as Bilbao dominated in the early proceedings.
New Barca signing Ferran Torres did well to put Barcelona back in it as he scored the equaliser in the 20th minute. Sergio Busquets found Torres at the edge of the box, Torres with a delightful touch past the defender went on to find the top right corner to make it 1-1.
Athletic Bilbao threw everything they had at Barca in the first-half, but it was not evident in the scoreline. Both teams went into the break tied 1-1.
The second half soon commenced and Bilbao became lethargic for the first set of minutes which made Barca enjoy Football themselves but there was no goal to show for all that. Both Teams grew into the match as time went by, the match became more compelling as there were chances aplenty, there was still no goal.
The lull was soon broken in the dying embers of the game. Inaki Williams came very close in the 84th minute but his shot hit the woodwork. Two minutes later Athletic Bilbao took the lead, A free kick was swung into the box, and clumsily the ball was bundled into the net. The goal was awarded to Inigo Martinez.
Athleti thought they had hit the final nail on the coffin two minutes later but Berenguer’s goal was ruled out for offside.
Barca with the last throw of the dice tried to make something happen in the dying embers of the game, luckily for them Pedri rose to the occasion. Pedri lashed onto a spectacular bicycle kick assist from Dani Alves to slot home past Agirrezabala in the third minute of additional time to make it 2-2. This meant the game would go on to extra-time.
Both Clubs decide to let lose hell in the 30 minutes of extra-time. There was a high sense of urgency from both teams but things turned out worse for Barca as they who lost both Ansu Fati and Pedri to muscle injuries.
In the 105th minute, Jordi Alba was called back for a handball in the box, It was checked by VAR and a penalty was given. Iker Munian stepped up and lashed home once again, giving Bilbao a well-deserved 3-2 lead. Barca’s push for an equaliser and possibly a winner all amounted to nothing as Xavi’s men unfortunately crashed out of the Copa Del Rey.