Athletic Bilbao reached their third consecutive Copa Del Rey semi-final after a last-gasp 1-0 win over a lacklustre Real Madrid side at San Mames.
Athletic had much better of the first-half, with Dani Garcia coming closest to breaking the deadlock. His 25-yard strike from distance was tipped over by Thibaut Courtois.
It was more of the same in the second half for Marcelino’s side, but they were not able to take their chances.
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However, that all changed with just minutes to play as substitute Alejandro Berenguer fired in a beautiful effort into the bottom corner from just inside the box to win it for Athletic in spectacular fashion to send the cathedral of San Mames wild.
Athletic saw off six minutes of stoppage time to hang on and secure their passage into the last four. Real Madrid, meanwhile, suffer defeat in the quarter-final stage of the competition for the fourth time since 2016.
TALKING POINT - Athletic fully deserving of win
Los Leones proved to be good value for their win in the end, as the result was fully deserved. Athletic Club dominated large parts of the game, with Real Madrid happy to sit back and defend in large spells. This was summed up by Madrid's expected goals (xG) output being just 0.1 at the break.
Athletic had 15 shots compare to Real's seven, and looked the team more likely to score in attacking situations. They eventually got their reward, even if it was late on.
Tonight's win means Athletic have avenged their 2-0 Supercopa de Espana final defeat to Real Madrid before the international break, and have also defeated Barcelona and Real Madrid in consecutive rounds of the competition.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Alex Berenguer
Iker Muniain e Alex Berenguer esultano dopo il gol - Athletic-Real Madrid - Copa del Re 2021-22
Image credit: Getty Images
The 26 year-old delivered the knockout blow to Real Madrid with just seconds to play, with a sublime piece of ball control to shift it away from two Los Blancos players, before arrowing in a curling low effort into the bottom corner to send San Mames wild. It was only his second goal of the season for Athletic in all competitions.
Berenguer came on as an enforced second-half substitution after Nico Williams departed due to injury. The winger immediately caused the Madrid back-line problems on the right with his trickery, also putting in some nice low deliveries across the box which were not taken advantage of.
In total, Berenguer had five crosses, three shots on goal and also made one successful tackle during the second half.
Athletic Club: Agirrezabala 7, Martinez 7, De Marcos 6, Y. Alvarez 7, Yuri B. 7, D. Garcia 7, Muniain 7, Vesga 7, N. Williams 6, I. Williams 7, R. Garcia 7. Subs: Serrano 6, Berenguer 8, Balenziaga 6.
Real Madrid: Courtois 6, Alaba 6, Militao 6, Vasquez 6, Nacho 6, Casemiro 6, Modric 6, Kroos 6, Asensio 6, Rodrygo 6, Vinicius Jr 5. Subs: Isco 7, Camavinga 6.
8’ - SAVE! Yuri bombs forward for Athletic on the left flank, before getting a ball into the box. The initial cross is blocked, but the rebound falls to the feet of Dani Garcia on the edge of the area. He hits a powerful effort towards the top corner from 25-yards out but Thibaut Courtois is there to tip it behind!
44’ - INJURY - Athletic break and they are 3 vs 2. The ball is threaded into Nico Williams but he is a touch offside. Seconds later, the youngster pulls up, clutching his hamstring. It looks like his night is over. His older brother, Inaki, consoles him as he walks off the pitch with his head in his hands. He is unable to carry on.
80’ - SAVE! Really good stuff from Real Madrid! Intricate one-touch play in the box forces a save out of Agirrezabala. Asensio executes a deft backheel into the path of an on-rushing Casemiro, but his shot is well stopped!
88’ - GOAL! ATHLETIC HAVE SURELY WON IT! (Alex Berenguer) - Berenguer with a stunning goal! The second-half substitute receives the ball and turns before chopping the ball away from Casemiro and firing a fantastic effort into the bottom corner to win it with just his second goal of the season. Incredible!
- Real Madrid finished the first half against Athletic with a 0.1 xG index, their lowest record in the first 45 minutes in a single game in any competition since January 2020 (vs Valladolid in La Liga), also away from home (0.08).
- Athletic are the second different side to progress against Barcelona and Real Madrid in a single campaign in the Copa del Rey in the 21st Century after Real Zaragoza.
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