Barcelona are through to the 2016 Copa del Rey semi-finals with a 3-1 quarter-final second leg win at Camp Nou, thanks to goals from Luis Suárez, Gerard Piqué and Neymar Jr., with Iñaki Williams scoring for Bilbao. As expected, it was a difficult match with a lot of pressure from the fighting visitors in necessity of a big turnaround, but a great second half by the Blaugrana gave them the win and a place in the Spanish Cup's final four.
The Camp Nou crowd saw a dominating performance by a team that pressed high up the pitch, created plenty of chances, got an early goal and never stopped looking for more. Unfortunately for the crowd, that team wasn't Barcelona. The hosts were completely out of sync and suffering heavily at the back, unable to string passes together or find the midfielders to start offensive plays.
That got worse when a phenomenal through ball by Aritz Aduriz found Iñaki Williams, who rounded the keeper and scored the opener for Los Leones. But Bilbao never stopped attacking and looking for more, while still being firm on defense and not allowing any real chances for the Blaugrana, who contributed with a really poor performance.
At halftime, the Catalans were still on their way to the semifinals, but a lot had to change if they wanted to maintain that.
The hosts changed their attitude and intensity from the start, and their level of creativity also increased. A more mobile 'MSN' confused the Bilbao defense, and that led to a great goal. Sergi Roberto played a beautifil ball over the top to Messi, and his cross fell kindly to Luis Suárez who tied the game.
From then on, the Blaugranes dominated the match, keeping the ball, playing confidently and creating plenty of chances, but an inspired Iago Herrerín saved most of them. Until he couldn't. A beautiful Dani Alves cross found the head of Gerard Piqué, who completed the comeback and booked a place in the semis for his team. Neymar still stretched the scoreline with a spectacular left-footed bomb to the top corner to round things up.
At the end of 90 minutes, Athletic have certainly earned even more respect for their toughness and talents. But ultimately, the better team won.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Vermaelen (Busquets), Mathieu; Mascherano, Rakitic, Roberto; Messi, Suárez, Neymar
Goals: Suárez (53'), Piqué (81'), Neymar (90+1)
Athletic Club: Herrerín; Lekue, Bóveda, Laporte, Balenziaga; San José, Rico (Beñat), Eraso (Muniain); Susaeta (Merino), Aduriz, Williams
Goal: Williams (11')