Barcelona loses 4-2 to Athletic and is eliminated from the Copa del Rey

Iñaki Williams returned from the African Cup of Nations in time to beat FC Barcelona again in another unforgettable cup classic, a one-on-one match in which Athletic took the lead in the first minute, Barça came back at half-time and De ‘Leeuwen ‘ managed to turn things around again until, already in extra time, the final score was 4-2.

Gorka Guruzeta opened the scoring, Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal came back in the first half, Oihan Sancet equalized again in the second and the older Williams decided in extra time after a great pass from Villalibre. When the match was almost over, the little Williams, Nico, made the score 4-2 in the last action in an action that started by Villalibre and ended with a very difficult shot for Iñaki Peña.

It is the third time in a row that Athletic has eliminated Barcelona in a one-match cup match in ‘La Catedral’, the fifth consecutive semi-final in five years that Athletic has played in a cup match and the twenty-fifth time in a row that a single match has been played. . direct draw, without being definitive, which the team from Bilbao manages to overcome.

With the surprise addition of Adur Ares and Iñaki Williams on the bench despite their quick return from the African Cup of Nations, and a more predictable side from Xavi Hernández, the match was initially a test for Barcelona. That was already 36 seconds behind on the scoreboard.

In that long half-minute there was time for Adu Ares to win a challenge against Balde on one wing, for Yamal and Koundé to lose a ball on the other wing and for Guruzeta to open the scoring after Yuri, Sancet and Adu Ares caused a stir. in the visitors’ area where Christensen had to block a shot from Sancet that also crept in.

It was not the only time that Athletic struck at the start, as Guruzeta finished in the area again after four and a half minutes. Although on that occasion it was deflected after a cleaner center from Adu Ares.

The Barça team’s misfortunes did not stop there, as Balde injured a thigh during a midfield dispute, and both Christensen and Xavi were reprimanded. The technician, for protesting.

Although Barça, even without much of a start, had already stopped the momentum of the locals, they were very happy with the goal that gave them an advantage.

When it seemed like nothing was happening, as some were satisfied and others seemed incapable, Barça’s first dangerous play came and ended in a carom goal from Lewandowski. Ferran came diagonally from the left, looked for Pedri and the loose ball was cleared by Yuri, in the small area, over Lewandowski’s boot.

Athletic suffered the blow, allowing a fresh start on the other side of Yamal, with Yuri out of position and Vesga not powerful enough to stop the international. With the ball under control, the winger made one of his characteristic diagonal moves that ended with a no less common shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Barça again closed in on Agirrezabala territory through Lewandowski, albeit without much of a lead, and at half-time Athletic turned in search of a 2-2 lead.

He didn’t find it, as a shot from Nico hit Araujo and went to a corner and a beautiful volley from Sancet went from that corner straight to Iñaki Peña, who responded decisively.

The ‘lions’ did not level at the end of the first half, but they did at the beginning of the second half, with Unai Gómez already bringing energy to the local midfield.

However, the equalizer was created by the red and white star who was on the field at that time, Nico Williams. The winger made a beautiful cross and the midfielder responded with a perfect header when the ball went past Christensen in the jump.

Just like in the first half, Athletic scored a second time and Guru again, but his shot, also from a good cross from Lekue, went wide.

With San Mamés on the boil, Iñaki Wiliams, the expected one, finally took to the field. The locals redoubled their efforts and the greatest of the saga delivered a cross that neither Sancet, Nico nor Guruzeta could finish.

He also did not take advantage of his chance at Barça at the clearest opportunity. A counter-attack launched by Lewandowski on Yamal and the young winger failed to materialize due to Agirrezabala’s departure. The confrontation was clear because no one accompanied Esplugas de Llobregat’s. But Yamal even seemed to want to pass.

Athletic regained control and attacked the area with the Williams. The eldest almost scored with a shot from no angle and the little one would have scored one of the goals of the year if the ball he kicked from the front had ended menacingly in the top corner until it came out off the crossbar.

Barça took a breath, but what came after a few minutes of visitors’ possession was a well-executed counter from Unai Gómez that Sancet did not go well because he lost control a little.

Something similar happened to Yamal again after he chased down a bad transfer from Paredes to Agirrezabala. The international managed to clear the goalkeeper, but his shot with his right foot, his unnatural leg, went wide.

The match went to extra time and Nico gave the first warning after a pass from his brother on the right with a shot into the area after a dribble to Koundé who sent Araujo for a corner. The second was given by Herrera, also in another action by Iñaki, but the shot went wide.

The game started to become a Barcelona rondo when Jauregizar stole and made it 3-2 with the first ball he touched. Bermeo’s hit Villalibre and Gernika’s ‘Búfalo’ found a corridor between the visiting defense, allowing the service to reach Williams. Only against Iñaki Peña, although in a hurry, Iñaki was the first to find the post and after the rebound the net.

And already in the interruption of the second half of extra time, between the apotheosis of San Mamés, Nico sealed the final 4-2 by completing a good counter-attack, set up by Asier Villalibre and continued by Sancet. The Navarrese midfielder played an exceptional match and was the best player of the match.

Data sheet:

4 – Athletics Club: Agirrezabala; Lekue (De Marcos, m.90), Vivian, Paredes, Yuri; Prados (Herrera, m.90), Vesga (Unai Gómez, m.46; Jauregizar, m.105); Adu Ares (Iñaki Williams, m.59), Sancet, Nico Williams; and Guruzeta (Villalibre, m.73).

2 – FC Barcelona: Iñaki Peña; Kounde, Araujo, Christensen (Cubarsí, m.70), Balde (Héctor Fort, m.23); De Jong, Pedri (Sergi Roberto, died 99), Gündogan; Lamine Yamal (Marc Guiu, m.106), Lewandowski (Joao Félix, m.77), Ferran Torres.

Source: El heraldo