Sunday, April 2

Athletic eliminates Real Madrid in extremis and gets into the semifinals of the Copa del Rey

Athletic Bilbao beat Real Madrid 1-0 on Thursday, qualifying for the Copa del Rey semifinals, where Betis will also be after beating Real Sociedad 4-0.

A goal from Álex Berenguer (89) will allow Athletic to fight for a place in the final of the KO tournament and take revenge for the defeat against the Whites in the final of the Spanish Super Cup in January.

The ‘Lions’, who had already eliminated Barcelona in the round of 16, ended up winning in an even match, in which Real Madrid blamed the lack of their injured scorer Karim Benzema

The whites, who see the possibility of the domestic League-Cup double slipping away, suffered intense pressure from the Basques on the pitch.

At 9 minutes, Dani García warned with a shot from the edge of the box that forced Thibaut Courtois to show off, clearing for a corner.

Real Madrid endured the red-and-white attacks too far back, unable to find space to get out of the rival pressure.

The meringues went to the bands looking for the speed of Vinicius and Rodrygo, but the two Brazilians accused the accumulated fatigue just landed on Wednesday from playing with their national team.

Vinicius would end up retiring to let Francisco Alarcón ‘Isco’ (60) enter.

Real Madrid took half an hour to put goalkeeper Julen Agirrezabala to the test for the first time with a shot from Rodrygo (27).

The game continued the same pattern after the break, but as the minutes passed, Athletic began to feel the effort, allowing more arrivals from the merengue team.

Real were able to get ahead in a run by Casemiro in the area, but only against the goalkeeper, his shot was cleared by Agirrezabala (80).

When it seemed that the match was heading to extra time, Álex Berenguer cut in the area and released a cross shot that Thibaut Courtois (89) could not stop, catapulting his team to the semifinals.

Athletic will be in the semifinal draw accompanied by Valencia, Rayo Vallecano and Betis, who this Thursday thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0.

Two goals from Juan Miguel Jiménez ‘Juanmi’ (12, 57), a penalty goal from Willian José (82) and another from Aitor Ruibal (88) certified Betis’ pass.

The Andalusian team began drowning Real Sociedad with intense pressure, which soon bore fruit.

William Carvalho went to the baseline to pass behind, where Juanmi appeared only to make it 1-0 (12).

The locals were able to equalize with a header from Robin le Normand (27), before video refereeing ended up annulling a Januzaj goal for offside (39).

La Real was growing in the last minutes of the first half and after the break they advanced lines ready to equalize.

Alexander Isak put the Betis goalkeeper to the test with a point-blank shot from Rui Silva (47).

When Real was at its best, bottling Betis, the Andalusian team’s second goal came when Alex Moreno put a ball from the left to the penalty spot where Juanmi reappeared to shoot and make it 2-0 (57).

The Andalusian striker, the best Spanish scorer in LaLiga, has already scored 16 goals this season, counting all competitions.

The goal fell like a bucket of cold water on Real Sociedad, which, despite the disadvantage, did not lower their arms but met Betis, who took a step back and closed spaces, containing the Basque arrivals.

La Real tried, but a handball by Zaldúa in the area was sanctioned with a penalty, which Willian José converted to sentence the match (82), making Ruibal’s goal (88) anecdotal.

gr / dr