Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona suffered two defeats last week against Real Madit in the Spanish Super Cup. In the 1/8 finals of the King’s Cup, the two teams faced each other in head-to-head combat. It was difficult to identify a clear favorite.
The match started perfectly for the Basques from Bilbao, who “knocked out their opponent” in the first act. Nico Williams has developed an incredible wing speed. In front of the Barcelona defender, he got the ball in the penalty area and threw it to the other side of the sixteen. There was Iker Muniain, who sent the curved ball “over the hoop” of the opposing goalkeeper with an accurate shot and gave the hosts the lead.
The losing goal did not eliminate the Blaugrana players, who were able to respond very quickly. By 20 minutes there were no good situations, when we already had the goal scored for Barcelona. Her players exchanged a lot of passes in this action. In the end, the ball went into the penalty area to Ferran Torres, who shot diagonally with his right foot from behind the defender, perfectly into the net.
The hosts got a lot of the game in the first half. In the 26th minute, Munyen shot after a beautiful act, but it was very wrong. At the end of this part of the match, only the sacrificial intervention of Gerard Pique prevented Barcelona from conceding a goal. An experienced player blocks the shot with a sliding slide. Already in the next action, after the corner kick, the ball danced on the goal line. The appropriate response to the guests’ control of Athletic came in the 27th minute when Gavi crossed the goal with a header.
Athletic’s dominance at the start of the second half was very evident. Marc-Andre ter Stegen had a very difficult intervention in the 52nd minute to stop Nico Williams’ shot. Barcelona, too, could have been hurt by the Williams brothers’ quick action. Nico crossed quickly and Inaki hit a shot from the first ball, missing a bit.
Barcelona attempted to counterattack but lacked an effective finish. The Williams brothers did not live to defend their guests. In the 85th minute, Blaugrana saved the crossbar after Inaki’s run. But in an instant, joy erupted from the entire San Mamés stadium. The ball was thrown into the Barcelona penalty area with a free kick. In massive confusion under the goal, Inigo Martinez, sitting on the field, rolled the ball into the net.
The hosts had the opportunity to increase the score in extra time and even scored an offside goal that was not recognized by the referee. At the time, no one probably thought that FC Barcelona would be able to equalize and lead to extra time. This was due to a strange act of desperation. The ball was thrown into the penalty area in the 94th minute. An Athletic defender bounced it upside down, and Dani Alves kicked it until the middle of the 16th. Pedri got the ball and, despite being covered, hit the net for 2:2.
Overtime starts when the Bilbao players attack, but not that crazy. It’s as if the players of both teams could have a potential penalty shootout decision in the back of their heads. Barcelona could lead in the 103rd minute after Serginio Desta’s shot. In the 104th minute, Inaki Williams crossed the ball and Jordi Alba stopped the ball with his hand. The referee didn’t notice this play at first, but after watching a replay of VAR, he decided to dictate eleven. Iker Munya hit with great confidence.
Athletic Barcelona was expelled from the King’s Cup and advanced to the quarter-finals.
Athletic Bilbao – Barcelona 3: 2 per dog. (2:2, 1:1)
Objectives: Iker Muniain (2105 penalty kick), Inigo Martinez (86) – Ferran Torres (20), Pedri (90).
yellow cards: Garcia, I.; Williams – Pique, Peder, Jung, Alba
Athletic Bilbao: Agirrezabala – de Marcos (106. Lekue), Vivian, Martínez, Berchiche – N. Williams (110. Zarraga), D. García, Vesga (117. Nolaskoain), Muniain – R. García (79. Berenguer), Sancet (52.) I. Williams)
F.C.B: Ter Stegen – Alves, Pique, Araujo, Alba – Gavi (61. F. de Jong), Busquets, Pedri (105 + 3. Braithwaite) – Azzuli (46. Nico), Torres, Gutgla (61. Fati, 96. dt) ).
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