The new Champions in 2019/2020 Copa del Rey as Bilbao knocked down
Real Sociedad won the Copa del Rey by beating Basque rival Athletic Bilbao (1-0) in Seville. This is the third coronation in its history, 34 years after lifting the trophy for the last time.
Mikel Oyarzabal offered Real Sociedad its first Copa del Rey since 1987 by converting a penalty against Basque rival Athletic Bilbao (1-0) on Saturday in Seville, and thus offered an epic ending to a historic 2020 edition.
Postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic which paralyzed European football last spring, the 2020 King’s Cup finally had its epilogue at the Olympic stadium in Seville on Saturday evening, after 350 days of waiting. . on a penalty converted by the inevitable Spanish international and Real Sociedad captain, Mikel Oyarzabal (63rd).
A deserved coronation for Real Sociedad, which crowns the seductive game offered by the men of Imanol Alguacil for two seasons, and which we still had a glimpse on Saturday, for this first King’s Cup final in history between the two rival neighbors of the Basque Country.
The enormous downpour which showered the pitch a few seconds after the kick-off seemed to have cooled the players, each more frightened than the other at the idea of making a fatal mistake under the downpour.
The team that started the game best was Real Sociedad, with their play of multiple short passes entering the opponent’s box, their wagging right side and the mobility of Alexander Isak, on the verge of throwing crosses into the opposing net several times (19th, 25th, 41st).
But Athletic Bilbao also had its chances, on lightning counterattacks and incisive crosses … and this big strike from the thirty meters of Inigo Martinez, returned over his crossbar with his fingertips by Alex Remiro
On the restart, once the rain stopped, the referee hesitated for a long time to whistle a penalty for an Inigo Martinez hand at the edge of the box, but finally ordered a simple free kick.
It was a few minutes before the turn of the match: in the 61st, the same Martinez hung Portu from behind in the box. The referee whistled a penalty and sent a red card to the international defender of Athletic … before reviewing the action on video and recalling Martinez to soften his penalty to a single yellow.
Athletic finished the match at eleven, but Oyarzabal nonetheless transformed this theatrical penalty (63rd) to offer Real Sociedad their third Copa del Rey.
Already winner of the Spanish Super Cup on January 17 against Barça, and qualified for the final of the Spanish Cup 2021 on April 17 again against Barça in this same Cartuja stadium in Seville, Athletic has stumbled, Saturday night, quite simply.
For Real Sociedad, author of a great start to the season before faltering in 2021, and sinking on March 21 at home against the gang to Lionel Messi (6-1), this coronation gives wings in the race to Europe: the players of San Sebastián are currently fifth in La Liga, ten points from qualifying places for the Champions League.
While clashes between supporters and the police marred the afternoon in Bilbao, nearly a thousand kilometers from the Basque Country, no overflow took place in the Olympic stadium in Seville, barely furnished with a hundreds of journalists and around 300 guests (by clubs or the Spanish federation) due to health restrictions.
Even in Andalusia, even in the rain, the celebration of Basque football was total.