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Surprise in the Copa: Bilbao deservedly beat Atletico to reach the final

Athletic Bilbao had already won the semi-final first leg at Atletico Madrid 1:0. Inaki and Nico Williams put the game to bed at the break against a struggling Madrid side. After winning the second leg 3-0, the Basques will face RCD Mallorca in the final

About three weeks ago, Athletic Bilbao won the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final 1-0 away in Madrid. Accordingly, the Basques went into the second leg at home with a slight advantage in the search for the second finalist. Two days earlier, RCD Mallorca had already reached the final in a penalty shoot-out against Real Sociedad.

Williams brothers give Bilbao the lead at the break

After Atletico started under pressure, the hosts took the lead somewhat surprisingly: Nico Williams broke through on the left baseline and crossed into the center, where brother Inaki Williams volleyed home (13′). Around 14 minutes later, it was another co-production between the two brothers that created danger. This time, Inaki set up his younger brother Nico, who narrowly missed (27′).

At the other end, Correa missed the equalizer from a promising position after a beautiful pass from Morata (31′). The madridistas were then caught out shortly before the break, with the speedy Williams brothers again getting their feet in the game: Inaki came down the right and fed Nico, who was able to slot home from inside the five-yard box for a 2-0 half-time lead.

Guruzeta puts the lid on it

A few minutes after the break, which was delayed by around a quarter of an hour due to a medical emergency in the stands, the Basques had a good opportunity to score a third goal. Nico Williams played a counter-attack to Sancet, who shot well over Oblak’s goal from a good position (51′).

Ten minutes later, the time had come: Oblak allowed a Sancet shot to bounce forward and striker Guruzeta was in the perfect position to make it 3:0 (61′). Atletico then had chances to close the gap through Lino with a long-range shot (71′), Morata with a header (72′) and a Depay free-kick (75′), but were not compelling enough.

The Basques ran out deserved 3-0 winners and follow RCD Mallorca into the Copa del Rey final. This is Athletic Bilbao’s third final appearance in the last five years: In 2020, they were beaten by Real Sociedad, and a year later by FC Barcelona. However, Bilbao go into the final as favorites against the Mallorcans.

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