“Barcelona’s Copa del Rey Dreams Shattered: Athletic’s Extra-Time Double Delivers Knockout Blow”


The host team took an early lead within the first minute with a rebound goal from Gorka Guruzeta’s attack. But Barcelona pulled off a strong comeback just before halftime, scoring twice in a span of five minutes.

Next Round For Athletic


Athletic Bilbao defeated Barcelona 4-2 at home in the thrilling quarterfinal match, and they went on to the next round of the Copa Del Rey thanks to more goals from Inaki and Nico Williams.

Athletic’s Yuri Berchiche attempted to clear the ball from his own six-yard box, but in the 27th minute, it collided with Robert Lewandowski, finding the empty net.

Lemine’s magical moment

Subsequently, Lemine Yamal produced a magical moment with a flash of skill. He dribbled past three defenders close to the box and made an incredible attack into the far post. Given Athletic’s efforts, they equalized in the 49th minute with a fantastic header from Oihan Sancet, assisted by Nico Williams from the left side.

As Athletic applied pressure for the third spot, skillful Nico Williams created trouble for Barcelona’s defense, often exposing them on the counter, and 16-year-old Yamal missed two easy chances near the goal.

In extra time, Athletic showcased their prowess in front of the goal. First, Inaki Williams delivered a rebound from his nearby strike, which came back from the post after a break, and Nico Williams secured the victory with an excellent curling strike in the last action of the game.

Inaki Williams, who recently arrived from the Ivory Coast, where he played in the Africa Cup of Nations, expressed his gratitude, stating, “I hadn’t even seen this in the best of dreams. Everything was absolutely perfect today. Yesterday, I couldn’t imagine being here after the difficult game (against Ghana).

I owe the club and the supporters a debt of gratitude for making this happen as quickly as it did.”
With this, Athletic Bilbao joins the winners of Thursday’s matches between Real Sociedad vs. Malorca and Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla in the semifinals.

for obvious season, the loss puts additional pressure on Barcelona manager Xavi. With 44 points, Barcelona is now in third place in the La Liga standings, eight points behind leaders Girona and seven points behind second-place Real Madrid.

Xavi on Barcelona and future fixtures

Xavi, staying calm, said, “I am calm; the most important titles are still there,” mentioning La Liga and the Champions League. Barca will face Napoli in the round of 16.

Player ratings:

Goalkeeper and Defense:

• Unai Simon (6/10): Couldn’t do much about any of the goals. Made some good saves in the extra time’s second half to keep himself in the game.
• Jules Kounde (7/10): Tried to dislodge Athletic’s opener from the line. Otherwise steady – not much joy for the home team under his wing.
• Ronald Araujo (8/10): Effective in the first half, and better in the second. Won his duels and gained some crucial headers. Seemed to have a heavy knock on the knee, but played through it. A warrior.

• Andreas Christensen (5/10): Poorly positioned against Athletic’s opener, and struggled to catch up with the second. Drowned with 20 minutes of play.
• Alejandro Balde (5/10): Did nothing special before being forced off due to injury in the first half between the two goals.


• Frenkie de Jong (8/10): Mostly calm on the ball and showed expertise in his distribution. Outlier for the second goal – although he could hardly be blamed for covering the incidents elsewhere. It can’t be pinned on him.
• Ilkay Gundogan (6/10): Stayed disciplined in central areas, but when he had the ball, he didn’t exert too much pressure, which is credit to the home team’s defensive discipline. He is more of an assistant than a creator in this time.
• Pedri (5/10): Less prepared for the fight compared to recent weeks, yet played an important pass for Barcelona’s equalizer and not much more. Seemed tired towards the end, as he lacked the last few minutes.


• Lemin Yamal (8/10): Gave the home team’s opener a run for its money, and by scoring a memorable goal, he secured a 2-1 lead for Barcelona. Consistent troublemaker, and when he was taken off, he probably couldn’t have moved – he gave everything.
• Robert Lewandowski (6/10): Scored a goal but offered nothing more. In Athletic’s box only three touches and only two shots.
• Ferran Torres (5/10): Faded through the game. Played an important pass for Barcelona’s equalizer and not much else. “


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