Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Real Madrid summary: score, goals, highlights, Copa del Rey
Athletic 1-0 Real Madrid: as it happened
Athletic 1-0 Real Madrid: summary
At the fourth time of asking, Athletic Bilbao got the better of Real Madrid in their mini-duel this season, the Lions deservedly beating Los Blancos 1-0 in San Mamés in a lung-bursting display.
There is simply no better side in LaLiga at the moment in terms of physical conditioning and commitment and Athletic played Madrid off the park in Bilbao, focring errors from players as meticulous and consistent as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, and the vistors had less glamorous names to thank - Lucas Vázquez and Nacho chief among them - for hanging on as long as they did.
Álex Berenguer provided the only goal of the game almost on 90 minutes, sweeping a shot past Thibaut Courtois to send Athletic into the last four as the Copa specialists seek a third final in an many seasons.
They will go into the hat for Friday's draw alongside Rayo, Valencia and Betis having already beaten Madrid and Barceloa in this season's competition.
Runners-up in the last two seasons, The Lions have now dispatched Barcelona and Real Madrid in successive rounds.
And there's the whistle! San Mamés explodes! Athletic are into the semis!
Madrid throw, last roll of the dice...
Militão picked up for a foul, precious seconds for Athletic...
San Mamés is screaming for the whistle... one minute to go!
Isco! Athletic left the Real midfielder unmarked on the right there and he flashes a shot just wide of the far post!
If there were tired legs in the Athletic ranks before that goal they have been rejuvenated now.
Muniain off to the biggest ovation of the night.
Six minutes added!
What a strike! Berenguer finds the far corner beyond the despairing dive of Courtois and Athletic have one foot in the final!
Alaba thumps a shot into a wall of red and white shirts and San Mamés is silent as a half-hearted penalty appeal is mounted. The ref points to the corner flag though.
Madrid are desperately trying to take the sting out of Athletic's tail in the closing stages and the San Mamés crowd are starting to get nervous.
Casemiro! The midfielder is usually pretty clinical from that area but he fluffs a shot and Athletic keeper Agirrezabala palms it away.
Militão! Fine defending from the Madrid captain, who slides in to deny the onrushing Williams.
Raúl García makes way to an ovation for Nico Serrano, the big white hope of the Lezama academy, to come on.
Kroos is off after an uncharacteristically slapdash game, Camavinga on.
Athletic are still buzzing around Madrid as the visitors try and play out from the back, forcing errors left, right and centre. Casemiro is there to clear up on this occasion but Ancelotti is not looking comfortable on the touchline.
Berchiche is the latest name in the naughty book as he goes all Karate Kid on Vázquez.
De Marcos into the book for hauling Rodrygo back.
Nacho! Another half chance falls to Muniain and the Madrid captain reacts quickest to batter the ball to safety.
Interesting change from Ancelotti. Madrid's issues at the moment are stemming from a lack of speed in the transition from midfield to attack. Isco will hardly do much to help that, he's never been a 100m runner.
Ouch... Vinicius off for Isco and the roar of disapproval for the Brazilian is probably getting dogs barking in France.
Modric could be in a spot of bother here as he plants his studs into Muniain. No malice, but a deserved yellow.
Magnificent from Yeray! San Mamés rises to its feet in ovation as the defender gets across to put in a perfect sliding tackle on the onrushing Vázquez, win the ball and launch another attack.
Raúl García! The Athletic front man gets on the end of a corner and flashes a header just wide. Seems it took a clip of Nacho... VAR having a look
Muniain whips it in and Courtois wallops it onto the head of Martínez. Goal kick.
Militão commits a clumsy and unnecssary foul on Williams on the left and Athletic have a decent opportunity here.
And we're back underway!
Berenguer is on for Nico as the teams come out for the second half.
And there's the whistle! Decent half of football, with Athletic edging it on points at the moment.
Williams and Raúl García conspire to floor Vinicius and concede a free kick in midfield. Their protestations of innocence meet with short shrift from the ref.
Two minutes added.
Marcelino will hold off on a change until he assesses Nico's issue. Williams Jr has been electric in the opening 45.
And bad news for Athletic as Nico limps off after his lovely little flick for his brother. Looks like he twanged something there. The winger receives an ovation from San Mamés.
Williams! Nico plays in Iñaki and Vázquez, who has been Madrid's saviour in the first half, nips in to prevent the shot.
Dani García finally finds his way into the book for his personal interest in making Vinicius suffer. The Brazilian sees the funny side and the two share a brief hug.
Ufffff... Kroos plays the ball across his own area - rule one of what not to do against a high press - and Muniain lays off for Williams who is denied by Vázquez in extremis. Ancelotti will be looking forward to half time.
The Athletic press works its wonder again as Kroos and Modric attempt to play Madrid out of a spot of bother and the home side win a throw,
The ball breaks to Muniain on the left and the Athletic man tries to pick out the far corner but doesn't wrap his boot around it sufficiently and it flies high and wide.
Berchiche and Vázquez go for a 50-50 and the Madrid man is fastest to it. Both slap each other's backs after the challenge.
Nico! The younger Williams is shaping to shoot in the area as Militão comes flying in to deny him.
Vinicius goes down again courtesy of Dani García and again the Athletic player has a few words in the Brazilian's ear on the turf. Is that a ploy to wind him up? Could be, and the ref tells the Lions midfielder to cut it out.
Williams goes down under a challenge from Vázquez but the ref is unmoved and signals for a goal kick.
Athletic are first to everything in midfield at the moment, Madrid really struggling to stop the high press from handing possession to the home side in contested balls.
Kroos into the book for a clumsy challenge. The free kick is sent in and Casemiro gets a head to it for another Athletic corner.
Muniain! The Athletic captain wriggles through and hammers a shot into the side netting. He's landed a few of those during his long career,
Possession stats on 20 minutes
Possession at the 20-minute stage: exactly 50-50.
There's a bit of afters as Vinicius claims a kick while he was down.
A mistake from Vesga gives Vinicius a chance to break but Dani García solves the issue by flooring the Brazilian.
The home side are really snapping at Madrid's heels and the visitors are finding it difficult to get a foothold in the game at the moment, Athletic's high press keeping them pinned in their own half.
Nico Williams skins Militão on the right and squares for Vesga to shoot. The effort takes a deflection and is out for a corner. Athletic on top at the moment.
Dani García! What a strike! San Mamés is on its feet as the midfielder draws a wonderful save from Courtois with a stinging effort from the edge of the area.
Williams! Vesga sends the Athletic forward charging through but Courtois is alert to the danger and comes out to hoof it clear.
Raúl García is pulled up for a savage tackle on Nacho, Athletic's chief antagonist making his presence felt early.
Athletic are knocking the ball about in the early exchanges, keeping Madrid at arm's length.
We're off! Madrid get the game underway, the visitors in white, the home side in red and white.
The captains are in the middle for the coin toss, Nacho wearing the armband for Madrid this evening, Muniain for Athletic.
Real Madrid starting XI confirmed
Ancelotti has decided to play without a recognised striker. We assume Vinicius will be given the job of playing through the middle with Asensio and Rodrygo out wide. Carvajal is on the bench with Lucas Vázquez retaining his place at right back and Nacho slotting in at left back. .
Athletic starting XI confirmed
As we suspected, Marcelino has gone with Raúl García to partner Iñaki Williams in attack. That will have Madrid on the back foot from the outset, especially at set-pieces. Nico Williams and Iker Muniain will provide the trickery on the flanks.
San Mamés geared up for Madrid
There will be quite an atmosphere in the Cathedral this evening as Athletic look to continue their campaign for a 24th Copa del Rey title, and a first since 1984.
Ancelotti looking for second Copa triumph
Madrid of course haven't won the Copa since the last time Ancelotti was in the Bernabéu dug-out in the 2013-14 season, the Italian delivering the domestic cup at the first time of asking after a three-year hiatus following José Mourinho's triumph in 2010-11. That victory ended an almost 20-year drought stretching back to 1993, a period when it's fair to say Madrid did not view the Copa as a top priority.
Athletic have been runners-up in the Copa del Rey the past two seasons and will be looking to go one better this year, while also denying Madrid the possibility of a Liga, Champions League and Copa treble.
Raúl García to start?
Athletic don't have too many injury issues at the moment and it remains to be seen if Raúl García will start having been left on the bench for the Spanish Super Cup final with Oihen Sancet preferred as a partner for Iñaki Williams.
The former Atlético attacking midfielder offers a more physical presence and given the international travails of Militão, Casemiro et al last weekend, it may be an option for Marcelino.
Benzema out for Madrid
Working to Athletic's advantage is the absence this evening of in-form France striker Karim Benzema, who has bagged 24 goals in 28 games this season. The forward picked up a muscle injury against Elche before the mini-break and won't be risked by Carlo Ancelotti. That will probably mean Luka Jovic leading the line, which is a considerably less daunting prospect for the Athletic back line.
Groundhog Day for Athletic?
It is fitting this encounter takes place on Groundhog Day in the US: this is the fourth meeting between these sides in two months. Athletic and Madrid played two Liga fixtures in December and faced off again in the final of the Spanish Super Cup final last month, with Madrid winning all three, albeit far from convincingly against an Athletic side that Marcelino's tactical wiles made very difficult to beat. Had The Lions been a bit more clinical with the chances they created, it woudl have been a very different story.
Athletic vs Real Madrid: welcome
Hello and welcome to AS USA's live coverage of the Copa del Rey 2021-22 quarterfinal match bewteen Athletic and Real Madrid from San Mamés. Kick-off this evening is at 21:30 CET.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?