It’s no secret that Athletic Bilbao love the Cups. Champions of the Spanish Super Cup, the Basques again reached the final of the competition this Thursday evening by overthrowing Atlético de Madrid (2-1) in four minutes.
The Spanish defender Yeray Alarez equalized from a corner (1-1, 77th) while the young nugget of the club Nico Williams (19 years old) delivered his own with a nice shot after a corner pushed back (see below).
However, Atlético got off to a good start. After a padlocked first act marked by a goal from Joao Felix disallowed for offside after nine seconds, Diego Simeone’s players found the fault from a corner on the hour mark. Joao Felix headed the offering of Thomas Lemar. The ball bounced off the right post of Unai Simon, then on his back before returning the cages (1-0, 62nd). The Colchoneros then relied – too much – on their defense to hold the result and the qualification but ended up cracking twice, twice from a corner.
For a long time, however, Jan Oblak had repelled the warning signals sent by Basques who became more and more sharp as the minutes went by. The Slovenian goalkeeper notably deployed brilliantly against the Williams brothers. First by repelling a close range shot from Inaki Williams who took advantage of a bad dismissal from the Madrid defense (75th) then against the cross shot from Nico Williams (80th).
In the Williams family, we are more used to asking for Inaki, the big brother. But it was the youngest, Nico, who stood out at the end of the match. With a fine shot at the entrance to the penalty area after a corner returned by the Madrid defense, Nico Williams sent the ball into Oblak’s side net and dashed Colchoneros’ hopes of playing a Madrid derby in the final of the Supercup. Revelation of this season with Athletic, Williams took the opportunity to score his third professional goal after his double in the 16th round of the King’s Cup against Mancha at the beginning of the month (2-0). Like his club, Nico Williams definitely loves the Cups.
Athletic Bilbao will play their sixth Spanish Super Cup final. If won, it would be the first time since La Liga titles in 1983 and 1984 that Athletic have won the same title in consecutive seasons.
The Basques will defend their title on Sunday (8:45 p.m.) against the current leader of the Championship, Real Madrid.