Athletic Club knock holders Barcelona out of Copa del Rey
Barcelona's dismal season hit yet another low after they crashed out of the Copa Del Rey, losing 3-2 to Athletic Bilbao after extra time at San Mames.
Xavi Hernandez's side were second best for much of the Round of 16 encounter and though they showed fight to twice get back on terms, Iker Muniain's late penalty was one bridge too far to recover from.
Barcelona have now lost the Super Cup, Copa del Rey, and gotten knocked out of the UEFA Champions League under Xavi Hernandez. The legendary midfield figure can be blamed for their latest setback as he made two wrong tactical choices that cost them their best chance of lifting a trophy this season.
1. Starting Gerrard Pique
Barça's ageing defence was tested time and again by the pace and trickery of Bilbao's frontline, especially Nico Williams.
2. Benching Martin Braithwaite
Another mistake Xavi made was opting for a young starting lineup in a game that obviously needed experienced legs on the field of play. The Spanish manager went for Abdessamad Ezzalzouli and Ferran Jutgla as the wingers, when Martin Braithwaite was available for selection on the bench. The Danish forward was introduced later in the game but he would have influenced the game to Barcelona's favor much earlier if he had started the match.