21 Jan 2022 | 12:07
The Catalan team received a 2-3 defeat against Athletic Bilbao in the round of 16 of the King’s Cup of Spain on the morning of January 21
With the home field advantage, Bilbao played impressively. Coach Marcelino’s army controlled the game and created many delicious opportunities. Barca’s slow defense could not stand the constant pressure and conceded twice in the 2nd and 86th minutes.
Barca 2 times led, but could still drag the opponent into extra time with 2 goals in the 20th and 90+3 minutes. Iker Muniain’s penalty kick in the 115+1 minute made Barca no longer have a chance to get up.
Bilbao were underrated, but were surprised when they opened the scoring in the first wave of the ball 2 minutes into the match. Nico Williams broke through on the left and then stretched for Iker Munian on the opposite side. The striker born in 1992 finished the technique of putting the ball into the goal in the helplessness of Barca’s defense.
After the opening goal, Bilbao did not give up the game. The fierce dispute in the middle of the field of the Basque team paralyzed Barca. Coach Xavi’s army can only pass back and forth at home, but cannot bring the ball close to the opponent’s forbidden area.
Barca played stalemate, but still got a goal thanks to the individual shining moment. The only time there was space in front of goal, Ferran Torres made a beautiful correction and sent the ball into the high corner, not giving keeper Agirrezabala a chance to save.
The equalizer did not help Barca owners improve the game. The Blaugrana played with a low squad, but still struggled with Nico’s pace. Minutes 28, the player born in 2002 almost had a second assist. Muniain’s header sent the ball narrowly over the bar. Late in the first half, Ter Stegen had to work hard to stop Dani Garcia’s header.
Barca held the ball better in the first half (64%), but only had one shot, while Bilbao had 10 shots towards Ter Stegen’s goal.
In the second half, coach Xavi tried to make adjustments, but Barca’s midfield was still swallowed up by the opponent.
On the other side of the line, Inaki William entered the field and along with his younger brother Nico continued to put great pressure on Barca’s defense. The opportunity to finish close to the wall opened with the Williams duo in the 52nd and 63rd minutes. However, the second goal still did not come to Bilbao.
Barca had to wait until the 66th minute to have a second shot and continue to belong to Torres. However, this time the foot of the former Man City player is just a solution for relief.
In the remaining minutes, the away team tried to push the offensive line up, but did not create many mutations. Meanwhile, Bilbao actively defended and organized a series of sharp counter-attacks.
In the 85th minute, Inaki’s cross from the right wing accidentally sent the ball to the bar. Just a minute later, the San Mames stadium erupted in emotion when Inigo Martinez put the ball into the net of Barca after a messy situation in the penalty area. Ter Stegen saved a header from Berenguer from close range. In the situation where the ball bounced off, Pique proved too slow. He let the opponent press his face and then rolled the ball over the goal line.
In the final attack of the match in the 90+3 minute, Dani Alves rose high and had an active hook. The effort of the 38-year-old general became an assist for Pedri to cross the equalizer for Barca.
Pedri’s late effort can only help Barca drag the opponent into extra time. Bilbao still takes advantage of speed to crush Barca’s aging defense.
In the first minute of extra time, Alba let the ball touch his hand in the penalty area. After consulting the VAR, the referee awarded the homeowner a penalty. Despite provocations from Pique, Muniain still coldly put the host ahead 3-2.
The decline in fitness made Barca unable to get up in the second extra time. Bilbao won the first time against Barca after 6 draws and lost, while the Blaugrana was eliminated in the Copa del Rey right from the round of 16.