Both coaches prepared one surprise in the starting eleven. Diego Simeone bet on Šime Vrsaljko, which brought Felipe to the bench, and Marcelino finally opted for Oihan Sancet, and Raúl García started the match as a substitute.
The first minutes heralded an incredibly interesting meeting. Right from the start, João Félix hit Unai Simón’s goal in the first action, but he was clearly offside. In the next several minutes, the referee could award two penalty kicks (Berenguer’s offenses against Lemara and Kondogbia at Sancet), and a great chance was wasted by Iñaki Williams. His shot was defended by Jan Oblak.
After a very intense first quarter of an hour, both teams slowed down hard, as if they were afraid to move forward and take the risk. Not much happened until the end of the first half, and the beginning of the second part of the game was similar.
The meeting changed in the 62nd minute. Thomas Lemar crossed from a corner, João Félix headed his head, which would normally have been a problem for any goalkeeper, especially since he missed the target. The football bounced off the post and back of the late Unai Simón, and a moment later she was in the goal. Yeray Álvarez, who could have averted the threat earlier, also behaved badly.
After scoring the goal, the Madrid backed strongly and Marcelino’s team took a step forward. With two set pieces, Athletic scored two goals and took the lead. First, Yeray performed great in the air, and then Nico Williams, who was introduced from the bench, showed off with a precise strike.
This result means that Real Madrid will face Athletic for the third time in two months. In the league matches, the Royal players were in the lead, they won 1-0 at home, and 2-1 at home.
Atlético Madrid – Athletic Club 1: 2 (0: 0)
1: 0 Simón 62 ‘ (own goal)
1: 1 Yeray 77 ‘ (assist: Muniain)
1: 2 N. Williams 81 ‘ (assist: Dani García)
Atlético: Oblak; Llorente (46 ‘Lodi), Vrsaljko, Giménez, Hermoso, Carrasco; Koke (85 ‘Herrera), Kondogbia (51’ De Paul), Lemar (85 ‘Cunha); Correa (71 ‘Suárez), Félix.
Athletic: Simón; De Marcos, Yeray, I. Martínez, Balenziaga (75 ‘Yuri B.); Berenguer (70 ‘N. Williams), Zarraga (70’ Vesga), Dani García, Muniain; Sancet (70 ‘Raúl García), I. Williams.