In an unbelievable Thursday night, both Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona got dumped out of the King’s Cup! Lionel Messi’s Barcelona traveled to the Basque country to face Athletic Bilbao and ended up defeated 1-0 through a 90+3 winner from Inaki Williams.
A few hours earlier the also Basque Real Sociedad eliminated Real Madrid, in the hostile Santiago Bernabeu, in a busy 4-3 match. Both Basque sides join in the semifinals to Granada and second-tier Mirandes.
Athletic Bilbao is the second biggest winner of the King’s Cup, with 24 cups. Barcelona has won it 30 times, as Real Madrid did it 19.
The first half had two distinct moments. Until the 25th minute, the dominance was from the Catalans, who retained more possession and counted on Messi to set up good chances.
The game changed in the last 20 minutes though. It was Bilbao who threatened more and almost scored through Dani and Raul Garcia.
The match got even tenser after the break. Barca’s Messi found himself with little to no space whatsoever, as Barcelona lost creativity. On 60 minutes, following a mess up from goalkeeper Unai Simon, Ivan Rakitic wasted a chance to open the scoring from within the six-yard box.
Quique Setien then introduced Frenchman Antoine Griezmann, as Barcelona started to concentrate their plays down the left side. But it was since Brazilian Arthur, who came in for Rakitic, that the visitors really had good chances to kill the game off.
Arthur was responsible for picking Sergi Roberto out down the right-wing, as the Spaniard crossed it for Griezmann, whose shot was saved by Simon. On 88 mins, Arthur played with Messi, who wasted a face-to-face opportunity with Simon, who saved it with his feet.
Then, with the Catalan side wasting a lot of chances, they got punished by Inaki Williams, on 90+3. In a delivery from the right, the Bilbao player tapped in to make the more than 50 thousand fans who attended the San Mames Stadium explode in joy. 1-0 Bilbao.
Tough defeat for Messi and Setien. The first one, once more, did not step up when the team was clearly needing him and lost an easy chance in the last minutes of the match. The latter still seems to need some more time to adjust the Catalan team.