Barcelona failed to get past Athletic Bilbao

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Current Copa Del Rey Champions Barcelona was knocked out of the Copa del Rey after suffering a 3-2 defeat in extra-time at Athletic Bilbao in the last 16 on Thursday.

Athletic Bilbao dominated the game from the kickoff onwards, and it made Barcelona look like an inferior team. The early domination of the home team resulted in a very early goal in the 2nd minute. Iker Muniain scored from a cross-shot, and Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was helpless. 

Even when the home team was dominating, Barcelona was able to equalise the game with a goal from the club’s new signing Ferran Torres. After an excellent passing sequence down the left-wing, the ball found Ferran Torres, who cut inside on his right foot and curled a beauty into the top corner to score his first Barca goal in style.

The Catalan club was not able to cope with the opponents’ pace. On the left side, the young Nico Williams tore apart Jordi Alba with his pace and skills. Barcelona was lucky enough not to concede more goals in the first half.

Athletic Bilbao did not allow the opponents to keep the possession to control the game. Their relentless pressure was successful, and Barca was struggling so hard. 

Inigo Martinez put Athletic back in front after 86 minutes, winning a challenge against Gerard Pique to score. It felt that Barca did not have the energy to score the equaliser again. But they did that in the added minutes with a goal from Pedri. 

The game went to the extra time. But Barca was utterly exhausted, and Muniain scored the winner with a penalty after the video assistant referee spotted a handball from Jordi Alba inside the area. 

Athletic joined Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Valencia, Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca and Cadiz in the quarter-finals. The draw will take place on Friday. And if you want to bet who will win the cup, you can do it on any of these great British betting sites.

There were more incidents for Barca fans to be sad after the loss. Their young star player Ansu Fati was again injured, and he went out of the game in tears. The tests revealed that Ansu Fati has a femoral biceps injury in his left thigh, and tests will be required to determine the full extent of the problem.

The Barca striker was a second-half substitute in Thursday’s game against Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey but had to withdraw after the match at San Mames had gone into extra time.

“We will see on Friday what they have but it is worrying how Ansu Fati left the game,” Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez told the media.

“We knew that it would be a tough game and I’m proud my players fought and gave their best. We still have LaLiga and Europa League to fight for and we’ll do it until the end.”