Athletic once again declares its love for the Cup | Soccer | Sports


Bilbao went partying on a Thursday night, almost at dawn. A solvent Athletic, brilliant at times, unraveled Atlético de Madrid, which showed the seams that it shows too often outside the Metropolitano. Not only did he make the first leg result good, a favorable but uncomfortable result, but he punished his opponent with a score that no one expected. The cries of “To Seville!” From the stands in unison they realized what that meant. Athletic will be in La Cartuja on April 6 to face Mallorca, the two best teams in the Cup.


Julen Agirrezabala, Daniel Vivian, Aitor Paredes, De Marcos (Yeray, min. 89), Lekue, Williams (Berenguer, min. 80), O. Sancet (Unai Gómez, min. 80), Benat Prados, Ruiz de Galarreta (Dani García, min. 68), Nico Williams and Guruzeta (Raúl García, min. 89)



Oblak, Mario Hermoso (Reinildo Mandava, min. 53), Nahuel Molina (Pablo Barrios Rivas, min. 53), Samuel Lino (Rodrigo Riquelme, min. 72), Witsel, Savic, Koke (Saúl, min. 65), De Paul, Marcos Llorente, Morata and Correa (Depay, min. 53)

Goals 1-0 min. 12: Williams. 2-0 min. 42: Nico Williams. 3-0 min. 61: Guruzeta.

Referee Juan Martínez Munuera

Yellow cards Mario Hermoso (min. 28), Ruiz de Galarreta (min. 39), Muniain (min. 47), Lekue (min. 66) and De Marcos (min. 74)

It was a big day in Bizkaia, which always turns to Athletic on big occasions. The center of the capital appeared collapsed; It was difficult to find a space in a parking lot less than a kilometer from San Mamés. The party’s security established routes for the team buses that Eisenhower would not have planned during the invasion of Europe in World War II, and despite everything, incidents occurred on the esplanade of the field by some Bilbao radicals, who also sent an Atlético fan, attacked in a restaurant in the capital of Biscay, to the hospital.

But the important thing, apart from the uncontrolled actions of the violent people, was settled on the grass of a field that broke its attendance record. Simeone’s Atlético arrived with the need to score at least one goal to equalize the tie, and in the first minutes he seemed convinced that he had to command the match. It was Samu Lino who was the most determined, and the one who created the most danger near Agirrezabala, who immediately tried with a shot that came out weak, easy for the Athletic goalkeeper.

As the minutes passed, it was Athletic that gained confidence. So much so that at 12 minutes a long ball for Nico Williams was controlled in the race by the little brother of the saga, and from the baseline he crossed back so that the eldest, Iñaki, volleyed and beat Oblak. If Atlético de Madrid didn’t want a cup, they already had a cup and a half.

Revitalized by the goal, Athletic took the initiative, and was able to increase the difference after an action by Iñaki, with a pass to the left for Nico, to whom he bounced the ball, which went too wide. Valverde’s team began to enjoy themselves on the field, while their rival suffered, although in the breaks that the home team took, Lino continued with his efforts, and Correa was able to equalize with an assist from Morata, but the shot went high.

Athletic continued doing its thing, and Atlético’s advance of lines caused the Williams to start running down the wings. In one of those runs, Sancet played deep for Iñaki, who looked for the baseline, and on the second fake, he returned the favor of the first goal to his brother, who pushed from close range to score the second, which put an almost insurmountable distance of three goals in the tie.

Almost nothing changed in the second half and Athletic also found more space, which Nico Williams took advantage of especially, who was able to seal the tie after winning one-on-one with Mario Hermoso and reaching the area to put the ball to Sancet, who shot deflected.

Simeone then proposed three changes, to try to fix the mess, but the bet did not go too well, because shortly after, an attack play by Athletic, with the ball going from one side to the other, culminated in a shot by Sancet that Oblak rejected it, so that Guruzeta’s leg appeared to push the ball into the net and turn the possible mattress comeback into a chimera.

After Athletic’s third, the game was essentially over, but it was enough for Julen Agirrezabala to demonstrate his qualities on a couple of occasions, with two saves from shots by Memphis and Riquelme, the latter from very close range. The chants in the stands became the most striking thing, and when Martínez Munuera blew the final whistle, euphoria was unleashed in the stands. Athletic, honoring its unique history, will once again be in the Cup final, honoring the competition. In Bilbao they are beginning to think that this is the time.

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