A last-minute strike from substitute Álex Berenguer gave Athletic Bilbao a shock 1-0 victory over Real Madrid, eliminating them from the Copa del Rey in Thursday’s quarter-final match.
Athletic, who eliminated Barcelona in the previous round, ended a three-match losing streak against Real Madrid in all competitions over the last two months thanks to Berenguer’s last-gasp goal.
The home team dominated the match from the start and put pressure on Real Madrid until finally breaking the tie in the 89th minute, with a shot from Berenguer into the right corner of the net.
Athletic joins Valencia, Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis in the semi-final round. The draw will take place on Friday and the semi-finals will be played over two legs.
Real Madrid were clearly affected by the absence of Karim Benzema, who is still recovering from a muscle injury in his leg, and by a weak performance from Vinicius Jr.
The 21-year-old striker appeared to be suffering from jet lag after returning from his meeting with the Brazil team earlier in the week. Rodrygo, meanwhile, was included in the squad just a few days after playing in South America.
“As of the 70th minute, they were under control and reaching extra time could be advantageous for us because they had made a great physical wear. Athletic attacked more in the first half, but without great chances. What did not work out for us was the the ball came out. We should have gone more inside, with Courtois and Casemiro, instead of outside. We talked about it at the break,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.
Asked why he chose to play with Vinicius and Rodrygo instead of Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard, who have fallen out of favor with the coach and have stayed in Madrid, Ancelotti said: “Why are you talking about Jovic, Hazard and Bale? Why don’t you talk about Ceballos, why don’t you talk about Carvajal? Everyone who hasn’t played has to be punished, not just these three. I’ve made decisions that haven’t involved these players, but to be honest you also have to talk. de Ceballos, Vallejo… They are at the same level,” he said.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
For tips or news submission: firstname.lastname@example.org