Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao Triumphs Over Barcelona in a Thrilling Copa del Rey Clash

25 January, 2024

In an electrifying Copa del Rey quarter-final, Athletic Bilbao delivered a stunning performance to defeat Barcelona 4-2 at their home ground. The Williams brothers, Inaki and Nico, emerged as the heroes of the night, sealing their team’s victory with decisive strikes during extra time.

The match commenced with a swift goal by Athletic’s Gorka Guruzeta, who capitalized on a rebound within the opening minute. Barcelona, undeterred by the early setback, responded fiercely. The Catalan giants found the back of the net twice before halftime, courtesy of an accidental deflection by Athletic’s Yuri Berchiche, which favored Robert Lewandowski, and a dazzling play by the 16-year-old sensation, Lamine Yamal. 

Yamal’s exceptional skill saw him weave through three defenders and precisely place the ball just inside the far post. Follow your favourite La Liga team with attractive La Liga odds from Nextbet. 

The second half saw Athletic regain their composure and equalize with a powerful header from Oihan Sancet, assisted by a magnificent cross from Nico Williams. The match intensified as both teams sought the lead, with Athletic’s Nico Williams particularly troublesome for Barcelona’s defense, and young Yamal missing key opportunities to put Barcelona ahead.

In extra time, Athletic’s dominance crystallized into goals. Inaki Williams, fresh from representing Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations, demonstrated his resilience and skill by scoring off a rebound. Nico Williams then put the victory beyond doubt with a beautifully curled shot in the game’s dying moments. Inaki Williams, overwhelmed by the victory, expressed his disbelief and gratitude, stating, “Not even in the best of dreams I have seen this coming,” and acknowledged the club’s and fans’ support.

Athletic Bilbao’s triumph propels them into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, alongside Real Sociedad, Mallorca, and the victor of the upcoming match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. This victory adds to the thrill of the tournament, following Real Sociedad’s win over Celta Vigo and Mallorca’s surprising defeat of LaLiga leaders Girona. Get the latest updates from the La Liga only on Nextbet Sports

For Barcelona, the loss adds pressure to manager Xavi Hernandez in a challenging season. Currently third in the LaLiga standings, the team trails behind Girona and Real Madrid. Despite this setback, Xavi remained optimistic about the team’s prospects in La Liga and the Champions League, asserting, “We tried, I think we competed well against a great team who are very strong at home… We can be proud that we tried.”