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PHOTOS: Real Madrid, Barcelona dumped out of Cup

February 07, 2020 09:22 IST
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IMAGE: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema tries to head the ball past Robin Le Normand of Real Sociedad. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Real Madrid were dumped out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage on Thursday after losing 4-3 at home to Real Sociedad in a hugely entertaining game which saw two goals ruled out by video technology and a late red card for the visitors.

 

Sociedad's Sweden forward Alexander Isak inspired an incredible attacking display, scoring twice in the second period, setting up the fourth goal for Mikel Merino and also having a strike ruled out for offside.

Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard, who is on loan from Madrid, had given the visitors the lead midway through the first half, following up on the rebound after home keeper Alphonse Areola could only parry a long-range effort from Isak.

Defender Marcelo quickly pulled a goal back for the hosts after Isak's quick-fire brace to make it 3-1, beating keeper Alex Remiro at the near post moments after receiving a volley of boos from the home fans for his haphazard display.

But rampant Sociedad soon restored a three-goal cushion when Isak teed up Merino for a simple tap-in after 69 minutes.

Madrid substitute Rodrygo pulled a goal back in the 81st to make it 4-2 after his Brazilian team mate Vinicius Jr had a strike ruled out for offside following a VAR review, while Nacho struck in added time for the hosts to set up a tense finish.

Sociedad defender Andoni Gorosabel was sent off in stoppage time but Madrid, who are top of La Liga, could not find an equaliser and suffered their first defeat in any competition since losing 1-0 at Real Mallorca on October 19.

IMAGE: Mikel Merino, right, celebrates scoring Real Sociedad's fourth goal with team-mates. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil was in a euphoric mood after the victory, which recalled his side's 4-0 win at the Bernabeu in a Cup semi-final in 1988.

"I said before the game that we were coming here to win and that's what we did," he told reporters.

"This result means so much to us, we put on a spectacle of football in front of a full Bernabeu crowd against a team of this quality. You can imagine how we feel."

Madrid coach Zidane said his side were outplayed at times.

"Our opponents played very well and we struggled whenever they pressed us. We also made several defensive errors," he said. "When you lose a match it means you have done something wrong, but we're going to keep doing the same things as before."

"Today we let in four goals at home and it's difficult to come back from that," added Marcelo.

"We tried very hard to pull it off but we reacted a little too late. Real Madrid is a very demanding club and when you don't win it's difficult, but we are still in two competitions, we have a very big squad with top players."

Madrid host Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Feburary 26.

Barca dumped out of Cup by last-gasp Athletic strike

IMAGE: Barcelona captain Lionel Messi tries to get the ball past Athletic Bilbao's Inigo Martinez. Photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

Record 30-times winners Barcelona were sent crashing out of the Copa del Rey in a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao on Thursday after a stoppage-time header from Inaki Williams.

Spanish striker Williams glanced a cross into the bottom corner to spark jubilant scenes at a rocking San Mames stadium and recalled Aritz Aduriz's added-time goal in Athletic's 1-0 home win over Barca on the first day of the Liga season.

They join Real Sociedad, Granada and second-tier Mirandes in Friday's semi-final draw, which will not include Real Madrid, Barca or Atletico Madrid for the first time in 17 years.

The defeat heaped more misery on Barca in a tough week for the Catalans in which captain Lionel Messi spoke out against sporting director Eric Abidal and forward Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.

Barca defender Gerard Pique said the team needed to show unity and refrain from in-fighting, adding that the performance, if not the result, proved that they had moved on from the saga.

"Now is not the time to air our dirty laundry, all I can say is we have 100% confidence in ourselves and we are pleased with how we played today and how we have reacted in the face of all this noise," he said.

"It's very tough to have been knocked out but we can take a lot of positive things from the game."

Coach Quique Setien said he was hurt by the elimination but was pleased with the display.

"Today everything went well apart from the result," he said. "We took a step forward in our play and I'm pleased with many things we did, I'm not only looking at the result."

Messi spurned a glorious late opportunity for the visitors when he could only shoot at the legs of Athletic keeper Unai Simon and his fellow striker Antoine Griezmann also went close in the second half.

The game looked to be heading into extra time when Williams missed a gilt-edged chance but he made amends by getting the slightest of touches on a cross from Ibai Gomez in the third minute of stoppage time.

"I'm lost for words, you should never lose faith," Williams told reporters. "The fans deserved this moment after the way they supported us and I now hope we can go on and fulfil the dream that we all have by going on to win it."

The victory must have felt like redemption for Athletic, who were knocked out of the Cup by Barca in 2017 and 2016 and lost to them in the final in 2009, 2012 and 2015.

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