The Lions conceded four goals in a fateful 12-minute spell in the second half
Athletic Club lost 0-4 against FC Barcelona in the final of the 2020-21 Copa del Rey.
The Rojiblancos’ favourite trophy continues to evade them. Athletic held out until the hour mark, but the Catalans stepped it up a gear and scored four goals in 12 minutes.
As expected, the match began with long spells of possession for Barça and they first threatened early on when Leo Messi cut it back for Frenkie De Jong, who hit the post. It was Ronald Koeman’s side’s best chance of the half.
Athletic struggled to get their counter-attack firing and their most threatening moments came from set-pieces. They had a massive chance when Iñigo Martínez almost caught hold of Alex Berenguer’s indirect free-kick. Barça had more of the ball, but Marcelino’s men were able to keep them at bay for most of the first half.
The score was 0-0 at the break, but Barça put their foot on the accelerator after the break as Messi took the game by the scruff of the neck. Marcelino made several changes due to injuries among Athletic’s ranks and Barcelona went on the score four goals between the minute 60 to 72, with Antoine Griezmann, De Jong netting goals, while Messi grabbed a brace.
After taking those blows, Athletic tried to push forward. Asier Villalibre had a decent header, as did Raúl García in the 83rd minute. The Lions thought they had a penalty shout when Ronaldo Araujo brought down Villalibre in the box, but the referee didn’t agree.
Barça continue to be a menace for Athletic in the competition. The defeat, although painful, only adds to the value of Athletic’s achievement in the Super Cup, where they beat Real Madrid and Barcelona – the latter taking their revenge at La Cartuja. A trophy and runners-up in the Copa this campaign. Now it’s time to bounce back for LaLiga.