February 7 – The names of neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid will be on the Copa del Rey this season after both were sensationally knocked out of the Spanish cup at the quarterfinal stage.
Record 30-times winners Barca suffered a stoppage-time 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao to spark jubilant home scenes, heaping more misery on Barca whose star forward Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.
The Catalan giants have appeared in the last six finals but joined Real Madrid on the sidelines after Zinedine Zidane’s side were beaten 4-3 at home by Real Sociedad.
Real trailed 1-4 at one stage and although they managed to pull two goals back couldn’t force an equaliser.
In an unfamiliar looking semi-final line-up Bilbao and Sociedad join Granada and second-tier Mirandes, the first time in 17 years that the last four excludes Real, Barca and Atletico Madrid
“I said before the game that we were coming here to win and that’s what we did,” Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil he told reporters. “This result means so much to us, we put on a spectacle of football in front of a full Bernabeu crowd against a team of this quality.”
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