With the aggregate score at 1-1 after the first leg, Athletic Club go into their Copa del Rey 2021 semi-final second leg against Levante on Thursday night (21:00 CET) with a place in this year’s final at La Cartuja on the line.
The 2021 final is to be played on April 17, two weeks after the Lions’ 2019-20 final against Basque rivals Real Sociedad (April 3). The Rojiblancos have already reached the last match of a tournament on one other occasion this year, defeating FC Barcelona in the 2021 Supercopa in January.
In other words, if Athletic beat Levante on Thursday, they’ll play in three finals in one season.
It’s a season in which the Lions have already added the Super Cup to their trophy cabinet, and they have an opportunity to gain two more pieces of silverware in the form of the Copa del Rey. Like the Supercopa match against Barça, Seville’s La Cartuja is the setting for both Copa del Rey finals.
A good track-record in the semi-finals
Athletic Club have come through their last six semi-finals in different official competitions: four Copa semi-finals (2009, 2012, 2015 and 2020), one Europa League semi-final (2012) and one Super Cup semi-final (2021).
The first was an important milestone in recent Athletic history, as the Lions reached a final for the first time in 24 years. Led by Joaquim Capparós, Athletic overturned a 2-1 loss at the Sánchez Pizjuán with a resounding 3-0 win in Bilbao.
Since that historic match, the Lions have been a regular fixture in the semi-finals of the tournament. Athletic knocked out Mirandés in the last four in 2012, winning 1-2 in Anduva and 6-2 in San Mamés.
The Rojiblancos repeated the feat in 2015 against RCD Espanyol. After drawing 1-1 in Bilbao, Athletic sealed a place in the final with a 0-2 victory in Cornellá.
Last season, Athletic took on Granada for a place in the final. The Lions won 1-0 at San Mamés and an away goal in a 2-1 defeat at Los Cármenes secured Athletic’s spot in the all-Basque final against Real Sociedad.
As for continental competition, The Lions eliminated Sporting Clube de Portugal in 2012, turning around a 2-1 loss in Lisbon with a 3-1 victory at The Cathedral.
Finally, the most recent case of a successful semi-final was this January gone, when Athletic beat Real Madrid 1-2 in the Super Cup in Andalusia.
The road to the second final (I): UD Ibiza
Raúl García and Unai Nuñez scored the goals as Athletic came from behind to progress to the next round
Marcelino: “We must concentrate on the positives”
Marcelino García Toral looks ahead next Saturday’s Copa final against FC Barcelona with confidence despite not being able to take all three points on Saturday
Stalemate against Deportivo Alavés
Inspired Pacheco denies Athletic at San Mamés
Confirmed line-ups: Athletic Club vs Deportivo Alavés (LaLiga Matchday 30)
The XIs for today’s LaLiga Santander clash at San Mamés (kick-off, 16:15 CEST)
Marcelino: “When you take a blow, you have to pick yourself up”
The boss is happy with how the team responded to the Copa setback and hopes to see more of the same against Alavés on Saturday
Squad list: Athletic Club vs Deportivo Alavés (LaLiga Matchday 30)
The 21 players called up by Marcelino for the LaLiga match against Alavés at San Mamés
30% off New Balance products
Athletic’s official 2020-21 training collection is now on sale at reduced prices
Global TV Guide: Athletic Club vs Deportivo Alavés (LaLiga Matchday 30)
When and where to watch this weekend’s LaLiga clash between Athletic and Basque rivals Alavés
Medical report I Yeray, Yuri and Nolaskoain
The first two have muscle injuries pending further tests, while Peru will undergo surgery next week for his ankle problems
Highlights I Real Sociedad 1-1 Athletic Club I LaLiga Matchday 29
Athletic pick up a point from their LaLiga visit to the Reale Arena