Barcelona vs Athletic Club Live: Thrilling Clash Takes Athletic into Copa del Rey Semi-Finals
In a riveting Copa del Rey quarter-final clash at San Mamés, Athletic Club emerged victorious against Barcelona in a 4-2 thriller after extra time. The encounter showcased the rich history of both teams in the competition, with each side aiming to etch another illustrious chapter in their cup legacy.
Managed by Ernesto Valverde, Athletic Club had navigated through a challenging journey in this year’s competition, overcoming formidable opponents in Rubi, Cayon, Eibar, and Alaves. Despite their recent vulnerability against lower-ranked teams, as evidenced by a LaLiga defeat to Valencia, Athletic Club entered the quarter-final with determination to progress further in the Copa del Rey.
On the other side, Barcelona, under the guidance of Xavi Hernandez, approached the fixture with high spirits following a 4-2 LaLiga victory over Betis. Occupying third place in the league with 44 points, the Catalans had a smoother Copa del Rey run, securing convincing wins over Barbastro and Unionistas. Like Athletic Club, they were keen to surpass their semi-final performance from the previous season.
The night unfolded with Athletic taking the lead through Guruzeta, only for Barcelona to respond in the first half with goals from Lewandowski and a Messi-esque strike from Lamine Yamal. The Basque side drew level after the break when Sancet headed home a Nico Williams cross from the left. As the teams remained deadlocked, the thrilling clash extended into extra time.
In a dramatic turn, substitute Iñaki Williams made it 3-2 to Athletic at the end of the first half of extra time. The younger Williams, Nico, then sealed the game with a stunning finish in the 121st minute, making it 4-2 and securing Athletic Club’s place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
The match showcased the resilience and determination of both teams, providing fans with an unforgettable spectacle. Athletic Club’s journey through the knockout rounds and their triumph over Barcelona will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in their Copa del Rey campaign. As they look ahead to the semi-finals, the question now is whether they can continue their impressive run and potentially lift the coveted trophy.