Barcelona exited the Copa del Rey at the Round of 16 stage after being suffering a 3-2 defeat against Athletic Club. Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard scored his first goal of the season to help Los Blancos come from behind to beat Elche 2-1.
Athletic took the lead against holders Barcelona after just two minutes played. Nico Williams beat Jordi Alba with his pace down the right flank, but his subsequent cross evaded forward Oihan Sancet – and defender Ronald Araujo – in the Blaugrana box. Iker Muniain collected the loose ball on the left of the six-yard box before cutting back onto his favored right foot and lifting it over a stranded Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The equalizer came in the 20th minute. A neat exchange ensued between Ferran Torres, Alba, Gavi, and Sergio Busquets, in and around the opposition box, reminiscent of the old Barcelona anchored by the current head coach Xavi Hernandez. The rapid passing sequence freed Torres inside the box to receive the ball, which he subsequently curled into the top corner after creating separation from his marker with a quick burst of pace.
An hour of exchanging blows followed before the Basque Country outfit retook the lead in the 86th minute through Inigo Martinez as he bundled the ball over the line from a set-piece. Pedri brought Barcelona level again in the third minute of stoppage time when he volleyed an overhead kick pass from Dani Alves into the roof of the net.
Despite their perseverance, Barca fell behind for the third time when Alba gave away a penalty in the 105th minute by handling the ball inside the box. Muniain scored, and this time Athletic held onto their lead to see out the match.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid, too, were dragged into extra-time by minnows Elche, who surprised those watching even further by taking the lead in the 103rd minute through Gonzalo Verdu – this, after Marcelo had seen red for Los Blancos minutes earlier.
However, Isco flicked Dani Ceballos’ shot past Axel Werner in the 108th minute to restore parity before Eden Hazard rounded the goalkeeper in the 115th minute and kept his balance to score the winner.