Barcelona was knocked out of the Cup when Athletic scored twice in extra time.

Barcelona was knocked out of the Cup when Athletic scored twice in extra time.

Athletic Bilbao defeated Barcelona 4-2 at home to put them out of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, with brothers Inaki and Nico Williams scoring in extra time in a thrilling quarterfinal.

The hosts took an early lead with a Gorka Guruzeta rebound shot in the opening minute, but Barcelona responded before halftime with two goals in five minutes.

Athletic’s Yuri Berchiche tried to clear the ball from his own six-yard box, but it deflected off Robert Lewandowski and into the empty goal in the 27th minute.

Lamine Yamal then created a moment of magic by bursting past three defenders to the outside of the box, cutting inside and slotting a stunning shot just inside the far post.

Athletic, on the other hand, stormed back after the interval and equalized in the 49th minute with a thunderous header by Oihan Sancet from a superb cross from the left by Nico Williams.

As Athletic pushed for a third, with the skilful Nico Williams causing havoc for Barcelona’s defence, they were frequently exposed on the counter, and 16-year-old Yamal squandered two easy chances from close range.

Athletic used their dominance in extra time to score goals. First, Inaki Williams scored a rebound from his own close-range drive that came back against the post two minutes before halftime, and Nico Williams sealed the victory with a wonderful curling strike into the top corner in the final action of the game.

“Not even in the best of dreams, I could have seen this coming,” Inaki Williams, who had just come from the Ivory Coast, where he had played for Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations, told TVE.

“Everything went wonderfully today. After Ghana’s elimination, I couldn’t have imagined being here. I’m grateful to the club for their support and the supporters for their kind welcome.

Athletic will join Real Sociedad, Mallorca, and the winner of Thursday’s match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla in the semi-finals.

Real Sociedad triumphed 2-1 against Celta Vigo on Tuesday, while Mallorca defeated surprise LaLiga leaders Girona 3-2 earlier on Wednesday.

The setback will add to the strain on Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez, who is struggling this season.

Barcelona is third in the LaLiga standings with 44 points, eight behind leaders Girona and seven behind second-placed Real Madrid.

“I am calm, the most important titles remain,” Xavi said TVE, alluding to LaLiga and the Champions League, where Barcelona will face Napoli in the round of 16.

“We tried, and I believe we performed well against a great team that is extremely strong at home. I said at the draw that we were unfortunate. We should have won with Lamine’s chances, but we can be happy of how hard we tried.

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