Spanish giant Barcelona was dumped out of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night just hours after Real Madrid’s exit from the competition. Neither of La Liga’s two heavyweights is in the semi-finals for the first time in a decade.
Real Madrid failed to make the penultimate stage and have not done so again this term, seeing a 21-match unbeaten run ended by Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu.
Martin Odegaard, on loan at Sociedad from Madrid, scored against his parent club early on but it was Alexander Isak’s first-half double that truly did the damage.
Mikel Merino made it 4-1 after Marcelo’s effort and while Rodrygo and Nacho scored, the latter in stoppage time, Madrid could not muster an equalizer, aided by the disallowed goal scored by the Brazilian starlet Vinicius junior.
Sociedad also had defender Ander Gorosabel sent off before Sergio Ramos saw a last-gasp chance to equalise with a header saved.
Barcelona on the same day, made their exit from the cup suffering a defeat by the hands of Athletic Bilbao away from home.
The game between the two was held goalless in regulation time with an array of attacks by the Blaugranas. Bilbao forward Iniaki Williams came out on top in the 93rd minute of the game, rising to meet a cross before guiding the ball to the bottom corner of the net. The goals sparked ecstasy in the home crowd as Bilbao escaped extra time to march on to the semis.
Messi played the full 90 minutes against Athletic Bilbao and had the chance to put Barca into the final four in the 87th minute, only to see his shot one-on-one saved by legs of Unai Simon.
Bilbao and Sociedad join Granada and Segunda Division outfit Mirandes in the next round.