Bilbao win at Atletico in Copa del Rey semi first leg

February 8, 2024 11:58 am

[Source: Reuters]

Athletic Bilbao beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at Metropolitano stadium on Wednesday thanks to Alex Berenguer’s penalty.

The hosts started strongly and created chances for Rodrigo de Paul, Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann, but Athletic took the lead from Berenguer’s spot-kick following a foul on Benat Prados by defender Reinildo Mandava.

“In the end, it’s a semi-final, they play on their home pitch and they put us under pressure, especially in the second half. A win here is very important. We were able to resolve the situation and we leave with the victory,” said Berenguer.

Article continues after advertisement

The visitors defended well after the break with goalkeeper Julen Agirrezabala making brilliant saves from Samuel Lino and Alvaro Morata.

The closest Atletico came to an equaliser, however, was in added time when Yeray Alvarez fouled Morata but the penalty was ruled out after a VAR review.

“The team worked well in the first half and we had chances in the second but we failed to capitalise,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

“They have the advantage because we would now have to score two goals at their home, but we will go and play for the chances we have left,” he added.

Atletico, fourth in the LaLiga standings and three points above Athletic in fifth, will try to reach the Copa del Rey final for the first time since 2013 when they visit Athletic in the second leg on Feb. 29.

In the first leg of the other semi-final, Real Mallorca and Real Sociedad drew 0-0 on Tuesday.