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Bilbao pile misery on Messi after dumping Barca out Del Rey

by comsmedia

Inaki Williams scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Athletic Bilbao knocked Barcelona out of the Copa del Rey with a 1-0 win at San Mames.
On a night when the competition was blown wide open, with Real Madrid also exiting at the hands of Real Sociedad, a difficult week for Barcelona following Lionel Messi’s public criticism of the board was made worse.
Quique Setien made just one change to the side that had beaten Levante at the weekend, with Sergi Roberto coming in in place of Antoine Griezmann.
Teenager Ansu Fati had scored both goals in that game and almost got off on the same foot here, denied only by a terrific block from Unai Nunez, who would also make a goal-saving challenge on Messi later in the half.
In between, Williams had a goal correctly ruled out for offside as he turned in from close range at the back post, but it was a half of few clear-cut openings, summed up by Messi curling a free-kick straight into the wall in stoppage time from the kind of position where he is often lethal.
Messi’s wonderful pass looked to have given Frenkie de Jong the chance to open the scoring shortly before the hour mark, but he tried to round the ‘keeper and was booked diving as he hit the deck in anticipation of contact.
Griezmann was sent on in place of Fati and soon had probably the best chance of the game, denied by the legs of Unai Simon after Roberto’s clever pull back.
Simon then made an even better stop to keep Messi out, while Williams missed Athletic’s only real opening of the second period, scuffing wide on the volley in the last minute of normal time.

But just as extra time seemed a certainty, Williams made amends, flicking a header into the far corner to send Athletic into the semi-finals.

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