Barcelona dealt latest double injury blow on way to Copa del Rey exit


Barcelona dealt latest double injury blow on way to Copa del Rey exit at Athletic Club


The club’s exit from the Copa del Rey proved far from the only concern for a faltering Barcelona outfit on Thursday evening.

Xavi Hernandez’s men returned to action a short time ago.

On the back of a disappointing exit from the Spanish Super Cup at the hands of Clasico rivals Real Madrid last week, the Blaugrana turned their attentions towards the Copa, in a Last-16 showdown with Athletic Club.

When all was said and done at San Mames, though, the woes being endured by Barca of late only continued to worsen, en route to an eventual 3-2 defeat after extra-time.

Yet, their exit from the Copa marked far from the only concern for Xavi and co. on Thursday.

In addition, the visitors to the Basque Country saw not one, but two players limp out of proceedings prematurely.

First came Ansu Fati, who, fresh off the back of a lengthy spell on the sidelines, pulled up with what appeared to be another hamstring problem, before limping down the tunnel:

And following Ansu a short time later was fellow Spanish starlet Pedri, who asked to be removed from proceedings whilst clutching his leg.

Muniain decides it

In truth, based on the balance of play, Barcelona didn’t deserve a whole lot more than the defeat they were ultimately served at San Mames on Thursday.

The Catalans were outplayed over lengthy stretches, yet managed to keep themselves in proceedings first owing to a moment of individual brilliance on the part of January arrival Ferran Torres:

And later a last-gasp Pedri equaliser to send the clash to extra time:

In the end, though, the pressure of Athletic simply proved too much, as Jordi Alba’s hand ball in the penalty area afforded Iker Muniain the chance to wrap things up for the hosts with 105 minutes on the clock, an opportunity with which the Spaniard made no mistake:

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