February 08, (THEWILL) – Athletic Bilbao produced a shock 1-0 away victory over Atlético Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Thursday night. The win marked the first time an away side had won at Atlético’s Metropolitano stadium since Barcelona in January 2023.
The hosts started brightly, controlling possession and creating half-chances in the opening exchanges. However, Reinildo Mandava’s 25th-minute foul on Beñat Prados led to a penalty for Bilbao, duly converted by Alex Berenguer on his return from injury. Jan Oblak was sent the wrong way, making it 1-0 to the visitors.
Shortly before halftime, Julen Agirrezabala nearly gifted an equaliser when he spilt the ball to Memphis Depay, but Aitor Paredes blocked his goalbound effort.
Diego Simeone’s side flew out of the blocks in the second half, with Samuel Lino firing just wide. Athletic substitutes Unai Gómez and Asier Villalibre then went close to making it 2-0. At the other end, Lino curled an effort inches wide and late on Íñigo Lekue cleared Ángel Correa’s goalbound strike off the line.
Deep in stoppage time Atlético were awarded a penalty only for it to be overturned for offside, allowing Bilbao to claim a famous victory. The second leg will be hotly anticipated back at Bilbao’s San Mamés stadium next month.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.