Real Madrid dumped from Spanish Cup

Alex Berenguer of Athletic celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Copa del Rey Quarter Final match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at Estadio de San Mames on February 3, 2022 in Bilbao, Spain.


A stunning last-minute strike by Athletic Bilbao substitute Alex Berenguer has eliminated Real Madrid from the Spanish Cup.

Berenguer scored in the 89th minute to hand giantkillers Bilbao a shock 1-0 win over Real, knocking the European giants out of the Cup in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Athletic, who knocked out Barcelona in the previous round, ended a run of three successive defeats by Real in all competitions over the last two months thanks to Berenguer's last-gasp goal.

The home team dominated the game from the start and piled on the pressure on Real until they finally broke the deadlock with Berenguer firing into the right corner of the net.

We are proud because it's very hard to eliminate Barca and Madrid like this, Athletic coach Marcelino Garcia Toral said.

But there is still a long way to go. It's not because we got past two powerhouses that we are already in the final.

Athletic reached the last two Copa finals, losing to Basque Country rival Real Sociedad in 2020 and Barcelona last season.

Real Betis earlier won 4-0 at Sociedad and returned to the last four for the first time since 2018-19.

Madrid were without striker Karim Benzema because of a muscle injury, but Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Casemiro, who arrived from international duty with Brazil on Wednesday, were in the starting lineup. Vinicius was substituted early in the second half.

Madrid struggled in attack without Benzema and with Vinicius far from his best form. It was a bad pass by Casemiro in defence that led to Athletic's late winner.

It hurts because we wanted to win everything, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. Hopefully this will make us stronger.

Betis advanced thanks to three goals by former Sociedad players.

Juanmi scored twice in the first half and Willian Jose added the third after half-time before Aitor Rubial closed the scoring near the end of the match at Anoeta Stadium.

Sociedad, who were also eliminated by Betis in the round of 16 last season, missed several good chances early on.

They had a goal disallowed for offside after a video review drew controversy by showing the wrong image - one which apparently showed the Sociedad player onside - on the television broadcast.

The company behind the VAR technology in the Copa del Rey said they were investigating what happened.

The correct image was used by the VAR to make the correct decision," it said in a statement.

However, the issue resulted in the wrong image being sent to the television broadcaster, which was quickly rectified. Hawk-Eye Technical Services are evaluating different scenarios to determine where the issue occurred.

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