Barcelona take 2-1 lead against Bilbao in King’s Cup quarters

Bilbao (Spain), Jan 21 (IANS) FC Barcelona took another important step in their King’s Cup title defence, winning the first leg of their quarter-final 2-1 against Athletic Club Bilbao in an away match.

The Basque side pressured Barcelona from the start and for the first 15 minutes the Cup holders were on the back foot until they scored with virtually their first attack of the game on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic found space down the right to swing over a low cross that allowed Munir to score from eight yards out.

With star strikers Lionel Messi injured and Luis Suarez suspended, Munir justified his place in the side and midway through the half Neymar also got on the scoresheet as Athletic keeper Iago Herrerin made a mess of a clearance and allowed him to slip the ball into an empty net.

The two goals left Athletic groggy and for the rest of the half they were chasing shadows as Barcelona, led by Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, controlled the ball.

The second half was more even, although Barcelona always looked in control until the closing minutes when the pride of the Athletic players saw them pin them back in their own half.

Substitute Sabin Merino forced a fine save from Ter Stegen following a corner, before Aritz Aduriz gave Athletic hope in the last minute after Barcelona failed to clear another corner.

Sabin was inches away from an equaliser in injury time, but with Suarez and Messi to return and the return leg in front of their fans, Barcelona are clear favourites to reach the last four.

In the other quarter-final first leg match played on Wednesday, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 in Vigo.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here