Friday. 24.05.2024

Athletic Bilbao avenged their Supercopa de Espana final loss by defeating Real Madrid 1-0 in Thursday's Copa del Rey quarter-final.

Alex Berenguer struck a brilliant winner in the 89th minute to send Marcelino's men into the last four, where Valencia, Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano await.

Madrid had beaten Athletic 2-0 in last month's Supercopa final but could not find a breakthrough at San Mames in the absence of Karim Benzema.

It means Athletic, who eliminated Barcelona in the previous round, could now reach their third consecutive Copa final, having lost the previous two to Barca and Real Sociedad.

Clear-cut chances were scarce in the first half, but it was Athletic who carried the threat, with 10 shots to Madrid's three despite having only 41.3 per cent of the possession.

Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti's men ended the half with just 0.1 expected goals, their lowest tally for the first 45 minutes of any match since a 1-0 away win over Real Valladolid in January 2020.

04 February 2022, Spain, Bilbao: Real Madrid's Lucas Vazquez (L) and Athletic Club's Yuri Berchiche (R) battle for the ball during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) Quarter-final soccer match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid at San Mames Stadium. Photo: Edu Del Fresno/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.Real Madrid's Lucas Vazquez (L) and Athletic Club's Yuri Berchiche (R) battle for the ball. Photo: Edu Del Fresno/dpa.

A moment of magic

Inigo Martinez saw a header well saved by Thibaut Courtois early in the second half, before Raul Garcia glanced an effort wide via a deflection and Berenguer, on for the injured Nico Williams, fired over.

Madrid began to assume more control as the 90 minutes wore on and Casemiro spurned a great chance, firing straight at Julen Agirrezabala from Marco Asensio's clever backheel.

Yet just as extra time beckoned, Berenguer produced a moment of magic, turning cleverly onto his left foot inside the Madrid box before bending a superb strike to the right of Courtois.

Athletic-fansAthletic Club fans hold their scarves during the match. Photo: Edu Del Fresno/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.

Athletic Bilbao defeat Real Madrid in Copa del Rey quarter-final