Copa del Rey final set: Barcelona to take on Athletic Bilbao

(L-R) Raul Garcia of Athletic Bilbao, Carlos Clerc of Levante during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Levante v Athletic de Bilbao at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on March 4, 2021 in Valencia Spain.

The Copa del Rey final for the 2020-21 season is set. On the 17th of April, Barcelona will lock horns with Athletic Club Bilbao in a bid to clinch Spain’s premier cup competition. The Basques secured their qualification through to the final with a narrow 2-1 win against Levante in extra time on Thursday.

After going a goal down early, Athletic Club responded in the 30th minute, with Raul Garcia’s penalty cancelling out Roger Marti’s opener. What followed was a cagey affair between the two sides as neither could break the deadlock in regular time. Alex Berenguer however, clinched the tie for the Lions with his 112th minute deflected strike.

Bilbao after, a 1-1 draw in the first leg, advanced with a 3-2 aggregate win, much like their final opponents Barcelona. The Catalans fought back from a 2-0 deficit against Sevilla in a stellar 3-0 comeback. The showdown in April will now be an unprecedented 10th cup final in the last 13 seasons for the Blaugrana.

Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have met in the cup final eight times prior, with the Catalans prevailing on six occasions. In the last 30 years, the teams have met thrice- in 2009, 2012 and 2015 and Barcelona have emerged victorious on all three instances.

Athletic Bilbao funnily enough, are still yet to play their Copa del Rey final from last season, which was indefinitely delayed due to complications caused by the pandemic. They have already faced Barcelona in the Supercup final back in January which they won. It will certainly serve as a morale boost for them.

Barcelona will face the Basque side for the fourth time since the new year and will be determined to take revenge for their heartbreaking Supercup final loss. The Blaugrana will be keen to lift the trophy for a record 31st time in their 42nd cup final. It won’t be easy, but the matchup is undoubtedly fiery.

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