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Copa del Rey: Athletic and Levante, in search of the seventh and the first | King’s Cup 2020

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 – 23:02

The Basque team, who have won their last six semifinals, face the Valencians, who have never played an official Cup final

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Rochina (i) and Muniain compete for the ball in Levante – Athletic de Liga.

  • Sancin.

    Four games to Iigo Martnez for slapping Sergio Len

May 12, 2005 saw the saddest eviction of old San Mams in recent decades. After two draws to zero, Athletic had missed its first Copa del Rey final in 30 years on penalties. That last pitch thrown by Ezquerro and stopped by the btico You fold It made generations of fans think that they would never see their Athletic in a final. Many of them, for the first time.

But since football (almost) always grants revenge options, 15 years later all those rojiblancos supporters have been able to enjoy six successful semifinals. One after the other, without fail. Athletic has managed to overcome the semi-finals of the Cup in 2009 (Sevilla), 2012 (Mirands), 2015 (Espanyol) and 2020 (Granada), the one in the Europa League in 2012 (Sporting de Portugal) and the most recent in the Super Cup of Spain of this same year (Real Madrid). Since that May 12, 2005, Athletic has not been removed from any competition in the semifinals. Whenever I reached that round, I played the final. And, if he succeeds again this time, he will play two in 14 days: this year and the postponed against Real.

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Such a striking streak has lived up to very few teams in recent times. Sevilla also reached these Cup semifinals with an open streak of six (since 2013), a figure in which both Barcelona (2014-18) and Real Madrid (2015-18) were stagnant. The difference, of course, is that these three teams lifted several of the titles for which they competed – all in the case of the whites – while Athletic has only won the Super Cup this year. Also 2015, but then the format did not include semi-finals.

No Levante final

The one who aspires to cut such a good run for the Bilbao team is Levante, which is in the opposite position. Apart from the 1937 Copa Espaa Libre, which lacks official recognition so far, the Granota team has never reached a final. In fact, there is only one semi-final in his history, that of the 1935 Republic Cup, in which he was defeated by Sabadell, who later lost the final against Sevilla.

The 1-1 of the first leg gives Levante a slight advantage, although Athletic has the confidence of having scored in all the games it has played under Marcelino, while the locals today have only left their goal to zero in four of the 31 this season.

Absences are the news in both clubs. Athletic has that of Iigo Martnez, sanctioned with four games after being sent off precisely against Levante in the league duel on Friday. Marcelino trusts in a favorable Appeal resolution today and has summoned him. Paco Lpez, for his part, will not be able to count on Melero, Postigo, Campaa and Radoja and maintains the doubt of Bardhi.

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