Williams crowns a sublime Athletic

Messi, sent off for aggression, exemplifies the frustration of a Barça that did not know how to play a final that was within reach.


Iñaki Williams crowned with a huge goal in extra time an exercise of faith by a sublime Athletic that beat Barça in a final that they lost twice and that they recovered in moments of truth. Those of Marcelino gave Barça a lesson in what it is to play a final. They scored at the last moment of the first half, in the second and at the start of extra time to win 2-3 against a Barcelona that continues to win in Seville.

There was a time when Barça came out to play the finals ready to dominate them from beginning to end and to deny that this type of game should be played with a sandbag, bulletproof vest, helmet and gloves. That that the finals were matches in which the teams met to try to make very little things happen and execute the rival who made a mistake, he did not go with the Blaugrana team ... until their duel against Athletic in La Cartuja, where they made small against a rival who unhinged him to the point that Messi, impotent, was sent off for aggression.

Just see how both teams coped with overtime. The Basques conspired and came out like devils between harangues, while the Barça fans seemed oblivious to the circumstance and inertia took them ahead.

The Koeman set chose the standard end mode that any video game would offer: covered back, make no mistakes, no risk and wait. So, from the outset, Marcelino managed to take Barça to his field. The difference is that the lions knew how to evolve and ended up destroying the favorite theorists.

The presence in Messi's starting line-up, which was doubtful until the last minute, could have been an argument that justified a more courageous departure from the Catalan team, because it was clear that the Argentine could not be on the pitch in the case of that the party went to an extension. Between the option of taking advantage of him at the end to decide or to start him to intimidate, Koeman opted for the latter, but the bet was a disaster and the Argentine was not only inconsequential, but ended up being expelled.

In the first half in which both teams tested each other, Athletic managed to control Barça by tying the Argentine, Dembélé and Pedri short. Only Griezmann, hyperactive from the start, showed signs of being aware that a final was being played.

Ter Stegen conjured a distant shot from Capa which was followed by another from Messi who went high in a first half that was becoming eternal until at one point everything suddenly accelerated.

Five minutes from the end of the first half, Messi connected with Alba to make his favorite play. The one that normally ends with the Argentine's shot, which this time failed, but the ball was picked up by Griezmann to score 1-0. The Barça seemed to have it of face. Without doing much he had taken the lead. If everything was still mediocre, he had a lot of numbers to win the game.But in the relaxation after the goal, Alba got confused on his return to defense and Williams connected with De Marcos, who won his back to the Blaugrana side to tie the game and return to the starting box in a second half that began with Mingueza entrance by Dest.

That second act began with a Barcelona that continued in such a way that nothing happened, but found a more aggressive Athletic that exploited the recently entered band, who committed an unpresentable foul on Muniain that allowed Raúl García to score with his head after his serve . The goal was annulled after passing through the VAR since the Navarrese was offside by half a shoulder that gave Koeman's men an extra life.

The same minimum distance that condemned Raúl, served Barcelona to hit again. Dembélé, who appeared by surprise on the left of the attack culé enabled Alba who centered the area so that Griezmann shot Unai again. Athletic had a quarter of an hour left to react and Marcelino gave entry to Berenguer and Vesga immediately and Villalibre and Lekue next. Marcelino's movement worked and it was Búfalo who forced the extension by finishing off a lateral foul yielded by Lenglet and that Alba returned to defend fatally.

And in extra time, Athletic beat a desolate Barça in a big way. Willliams' goal completed the task of a sublime Athletic against a team that is still lost.

Photos from as.com
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