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Barcelona VS Athletic Club Final – LIVE Football Reddit Score 21 Jan 2022

Barcelona VS Athletic Club Final – LIVE Football Reddit Score 21 Jan 2022

Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona will lock horns in the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening, with a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition on offer at San Mames. Both sides have recently been in Spanish Super Cup action, with Barcelona losing to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the competition, before Athletic were beaten by Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the final. Athletic had the chance to make it back-to-back Spanish Super Cups on Sunday, having beaten Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the competition on January 13, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the final.

Barcelona, as mentioned, lost 3-2 to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup, with the defeat following a 1-1 draw with Granada in La Liga, which has left them sixth in the table. The Catalan giants are the most successful side in Copa del Rey history, having won the trophy on 31 occasions, and the 2021-22 campaign could still be deemed a positive season for the club if they manage to retain the Copa del Rey, win the Europa League and secure a top-four finish in La Liga.

Barcelona were the stronger of the two sides, but failed to create many openings as Athletic Bilbao sat with nearly all their men behind the ball, happy to soak up the pressure to frustrate the Catalan giants. In fact, the Blaugrana only came close once in the opening 45 minutes, with that chance coming as early as the 5th minute, when Frenkie de Jong hit the woodwork.

The chances started flowing at a dramatically higher rate post the interval, with Unai Simon being forced into a number of saves before Barcelona finally broke the deadlock at the hour mark. The move for the opening goal was quite a slick one, with Lionel Messi involved before Frenkie de Jong squared the ball for the easiest of tap-ins for Antoine Griezmann.

Shortly after, it was de Jong’s chance to score, as he headed in Jordi Alba’s cross. Messi would then go on to add more sheen to the scoreline, finding the back of the net twice in four minutes with a couple of beautiful goals, as Barcelona won a record-extending 31st Copa del Rey. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ronald Koeman’s men.

A game in which ter Stegen had precious little to do, with his save being a regulation stop as well. Having said that, the German international was confident in cutting out the danger in tricky situations while being precise as ever with the ball at his feet.

The Basque outfit will now switch their attention to the Copa del Rey, booking their spot in the last-16 stage of the competition courtesy of a 2-0 win over Mancha Real towards the start of the month. Athletic are the second-most successful side in the history of this competition, having lifted the trophy on 23 occasions, while they have also reached the final on a further 16 occasions, but their last success was back in 1984, overcoming Barcelona at Bernabeu.

Marcelino’s side have won three of their last five matches in all competitions during an encouraging run, while a positive La Liga season to date has left them in ninth position in the table. The Lions suffered a 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in last season’s Copa del Rey final, but they held the Catalan side to a 1-1 draw when the teams locked horns in La Liga back in August.

Back in the starting lineup, Pique controlled things from the heart of the three-man centre-back unit in quite the expertly fashion. Never let either Inaki Williams or Raul Garcia have any joy in the Barcelona defensive third, completing an impressive 6 interceptions to ensure his side remained in control. Hardly misplaced a pass either. Solid on return, which ended with yet another trophy in Barcelona colours.

Not as influential as Jordi Alba on the left flank, but Dest still tried hard to make things happen from his wing. A constant outlet down the right-hand channel, Dest linked up well with Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong, but could not create many chances. Still retained a healthy 92 percent passing rate, though, while hardly being called into action in the defensive phase.

Blaugrana will end January with a La Liga clash against Alaves on January 23 before welcoming the champions Atletico Madrid to Camp Nou towards the start of next month. Athletic will again be missing Unai Nunez, Unai Vencedor and Asier Villalibre through injury for Thursday’s Copa del Rey contest with the holders. Head coach Marcelino is also expected to make a number of changes to his strongest side, with the likes of Julen Agirrezabala, Peru Nolaskoain and Nico Serrano potentially being given opportunities from the start.

Nico Williams scored twice against Mancha Real in the last round and should also earn another start, with Inaki Williams, Iker Muniain and Dani Garcia likely to be among the substitutes for the home side. As for Barcelona, Samuel Umtiti, Eric Garcia and Sergi Roberto will miss the contest through injury, while Martin Braithwaite remains a fitness doubt for the away side.

Ansu Fati could be in line for a start, having returned from injury off the bench against Real Madrid, but Pedri is likely to feature among the substitutes once again. Neto should be in line for a spot between the sticks, while Nico Gonzalez, Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza could all be rotated into the side, but Memphis Depay might have to accept a spot on the bench once again, with the in-form Luuk de Jong potentially leading the line with support from January arrival Ferran Torres.

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