ALEX BERENGUER delivered a resounding victory in the final match as Athletic Bilbao knocked Real Madrid out of the Copa del Rey and punished the controversial replacement of Carlo Ancelotti.
Real Coach Ancelotti has eliminated Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic – then removed key players Vinicius and Toni Kroos.
And Athletic took full advantage when they deservedly reached the semi-finals when KOd Barcelona in the previous round.
Sub Berenguer dashed in from the right to unleash a low left-footed shot into the far corner after 89 minutes.
Real Zaragoza is the only team to have eliminated traditional giants Real and Barca from the main domestic competition for one season.
Valencia, Real Betis and Rayo Vallecano join Athletic for the last four games.
But in La Liga, Real is still 4 points ahead of second place Sevilla.
Athletic overcame Real from the start, with the excellence of Dani Garcia.
The Spaniard hit three shots within the first 15 minutes.
And Ancelotti’s anxiety turned to annoyance when Raul Garcia escaped punishment for a string of touchdown challenges.
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Without the injury Karim Benzema, Real waited 27 minutes for the first game, Julen Agirrezabala chasing Rodrygo.
And Kroos gave Athletic a clear chance, Muniain picking up a loose German pass to set up Inaki Williams for a shot that was saved by Lucas Vazquez.
Dani Garcia’s fourth foul – Vinicius, the main victim of Athletic’s severe trials – finally earned him a penalty.
But speedster Nico Williams, a major threat to Real’s defence, limped off into tears before the break – Berenguer came on in the second half.
Athletic remained on top, however, as Thibaut Courtois saved Martinez’s header from Muniain’s free-kick.
Ancelotti brought on Isco to replace Vinicius – understandably sent off when he had just returned from two games against Brazil.
But Kroos soon after kicking the wing forward was more confusing when French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga replaced him.
In contrast, Athletic’s only real flaw is a poor finish.
But when Casemiro relinquished possession, Mikel Vesga energized Berenguer, who turned away from Nacho and scored the only goal from Courtois’ tense charge.
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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8312219/athletic-bilbao-1-0-real-madrid-copa-berenguer/ Watch Real Madrid get knocked out of the Copa del Rey as Athletic Bilbao scores the last amazing goal to reach the semi-finals