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Athletic Bilbao 4-2 Barcelona: Xavi’s hands fall short of yet another trophy

Barcelona’s quest for Copa del Rey success this season has been terminated as they suffered a 4-2 defeat against Athletic Club at San Mames, concluding their captivating 120-minute encounter under Xavi Hernandez.

Barcelona suffered a 4-2 defeat against Athletic Bilbao led by their former manager Ernesto Valverde. The Catalans endured a nightmarish beginning, conceding in the first minute of the match for the third time this season.

A scramble in the box resulted in the ball falling to Gorka Guruzeta, and he clinically converted from close range, providing Athletic with a dream start to the proceedings.

Nevertheless, Barcelona managed to take the lead at halftime. Robert Lewandowski leveled the score in a stroke of luck, as the ball rebounded off him and found the back of the net, followed by Lamine Yamal delivering a strike reminiscent of Lionel Messi to make it 2-1.

Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao: Xavi feeling the heat!

However, Athletic leveled the score just four minutes into the second half when Nico Williams delivered a cross to the back post, and Oihan Sancet headed it home. With no more goals during the regulation period, extra time was needed in Bilbao.

That’s when the decisive goal occurred. The ball reached Inaki Williams, and even though his initial attempt struck the post, the ball fortuitously came back to him, and he calmly placed it into the empty net, making it 3-2. His brother Nico would score a fourth in the 120th minute to secure the victory in impressive fashion.

With yet another loss in a series of bad results in the previous two months and Barcelona losing out on another trophy, the pressure is mounting up on Xavi and he might get the axe.

This result propels Athletic Club into their fifth consecutive Copa del Rey semi-final, where they will be accompanied by Real Sociedad, Mallorca, and the winner of the Atletico Madrid/Sevilla match (scheduled for tomorrow). Barcelona, on the other hand, have suffered losses in 2 out of 4 tournaments this season, leaving their aspirations dependent on La Liga and the Champions League.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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