Athletic 1-0 Barcelona: Wasteful Catalans knocked out of Copa at the death
Inaki Williams shocked Barcelona by scoring a last-minute header for Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey Quarter Final.
Busquets headed the only goal of the game into his own net in second-half stoppage time as the Basque side progressed to the semifinals at San Mames.
“A fateful ending after all that happened,” he said. “That’s football. One cross has ended up in the back of the net. We’d managed the game well, we knew how to suffer but one detail and you’re gone.
“The image of the team was good and we deserved to go through, but this is the new Copa. In one isolated moment, it can slip away from you.
Asked about what’s been a difficult week at the club, with Lionel Messi’s comments about Eric Abidal’s interview, Busquets added: “We are just focused on the sporting side of things. We won in the league at the weekend but it wasn’t to be today.
“It’s a sad day for everyone. We didn’t want to go out. We have two competitions left, we have to keep on fighting. We have to continue. Everyone’s angry. We did things well.”
Barcelona stumbled to a new setback in their troubled week as Inaki Williams’ header in added time dumped last season’s beaten finalists out of the Copa del Rey.
A hard-fought quarter-final appeared destined for extra time until Williams applied enough of a touch to Ibai Gomez’s inswinging cross from the right flank to send the ball beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen and into the net.
The winner in the third minute of stoppage time saw Athletic through to the last four and, with Real Madrid surprisingly beaten at home by Real Sociedad just hours earlier, it means neither of Spain’s two heavyweight clubs are left standing.
Lionel Messi, who had made the headlines in the lead-up to the game for criticising director of football Eric Abidal, had Barca’s best chance, only to be denied by Unai Simon’s outstretched left leg late in the second half.
The Athletic goalkeeper had also denied substitute Antoine Griezmann but, for the first time in seven seasons, the Catalan club will not be involved in the final of the competition.