Atheltic Bilbao 1-0 Granada: Bilbao takes close lead in second stage of the Copa del Rey semi-final despite dominating the San Mames
- Iker Muniain scored the only goal for Bilbao that had excluded two others
- Bilbao shocked Barcelona with 1-0 in the quarterfinals and are now favorites
- They have won a tournament 23 times, more than any side, except Barcelona
- The second stage against Granada will take place in Andalusia on March 5
Athletic Bilbao dominated Granada in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg but only managed to win 1-0 on Wednesday.
The Basques, who knocked Barcelona out in the quarterfinals, impressed a raw San Mames and had two goals rejected for offside.
Inaki Williams, who scored the winner in the quarterfinals against Barcelona, had a low shot tipped off the post by Rui Silva.
Iker Muniain replied closely to give Athletic Bilbao a close lead in the draw
Athletic Bilbao (5-4-1): Berchiche; Simon, Martinez, Nunez, Alvarez, Capa; Vesga, Dani Garcia (San Jose 84), Muniain, Williams; Garcia (Aduriz 67)
booked: Dani Garcia, Williams
Granada (4-5-1): Silva; Diaz, Duarte (Eteki 85), Sanchez, Neva; Herrera, Gonalons, Puertas (Vallejo 45), Fernandez, Machis (Dias 71); Soldado
booked: Diaz, Soldado
Raul Garcia was also just out of goal, before Iker put Muniain Athletic in the lead after 42 minutes.
The strikes by Yeray Alvarez and Ander Capa were excluded because Athletic was unable to build on their lead before the second leg in Andalusia on March 5.
‘We feel good, winning at home and keeping a clean slate was very important, it is a good result for the second stage. We would have liked to have extended the score, “Muniain said.
“Furthermore, we had a good game, played intensely, at a good pace and we have a good result and we are happy.”
Athletic refused early chances before electric Williams broke the left flank and passed a low ball for Muniain to convert from close range.
The hosts gave their team a raw welcome with red torches that greeted the Bilbao team bus
Granada is not in the mood for a team that has won the Copa del Rey 23 times
The dominance of the hosts continued after the break and Williams persuaded, while Yeray’s effort was ruled out because he and several other Athletic players were offside after a free kick.
Capa thought he had netted the second, just because it was refused after VAR referral, because Williams was offside and blocked the keeper’s view.
Athletic has won the tournament 23 times, more than all other parties except Barcelona, and are favorites to reach their 38th final.
Real Sociedad organizes second-class Mirandes on Thursday in the other semi-final first stage, with the return on March 4.
The Basques impressed a raw San Mames and had rejected two goals for offside