Athletic Club qualified for the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey after defeating 3-2 FC Barcelona in San Mamés in a vibrant round of 16 tie thanks to a penalty converted by Iker Muniain in the 106th minute, the last of the first part of extra time.
The captain of the rojiblanco team converted the maximum penalty decreed by Munuera Montero, after checking in the VAR, for a handball by Jordi Alba when he intercepted a cross from Nico Williams.
The crossing had gone to extra time after finishing the first ninety minutes tied at two. Muniain had put Athletic ahead after two minutes, Ferran Torres made it 1-1 in the 20th minute, Iñigo Martínez gave the locals the lead again in the 86th minute and Pedri equalized again for Barça in the 93rd minute.
A hungry Athletic was expected and in communion with San Mamés to face the azulgranas, and a great goal from Muniain after two minutes shook the cocktail shaker even more. Nico Williams won that first duel with Alba, there would be many more, and his cross was picked up by the Athletic captain at the far post to send him to the top corner.
Dani Alves on the other flank also suffered unspeakably and, without the ball, Xavi’s men suffered greatly from the local pressure. In the visitor’s first long possession, Ferran signed another great goal (1-1) but that would be the only shot on goal for the Catalans in 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Athletic forgave Ter Stegen.
After the break, Barça found Pedri more, more because of a certain truce in the local wear, but the entry of Iñaki Williams, in tremendous connection with his brother, was another problem for the rival. Despite the fact that the canary appeared and that Ansu Fati entered, Xavi’s team continued without generating danger against the rival low block.
In the final stretch, the oldest of the Williams collided with the crossbar and, in one of the many free kicks given by the visiting defense, Athletic ended up making it 2-1 almost by accident, with Íñigo Martínez stepping on the ball. Barça, which last year was subscribed to extensions in the Cup, extended the clash with Pedri.
The canary self-imposed one more extension for his collection, finishing off a ball rained down by a strange Chilean from Alves. A carom that hid at times the culé disaster, an extra life that nevertheless brought the injury of Ansu Fati and Pedri, and that without visiting occasions, did not change the script of a superior Athletic either, which fairly dropped the champion, led by Muniain.
Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.
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