MADRID: Real Madrid’s hopes of winning two Spanish domestic titles this season were dashed when they were stunned by Athletic Bilbao’s last -minute goal that knocked them out of the Copa del Rey.
Alex Berenguer’s 89th-minute shot after a Casemiro error gave the San Mames a 1-0 win and took Atheltic to the semi-finals.
With Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla already eliminated, Madrid are placed as the team of choice to win the Copa del Rey while in La Liga competition, they lead by four points over nearest rivals Sevilla.
But the defeat saw Athletic join Real Betis, Valencia and Rayo Vallecano in the last four and their chances of emerging champions are now balanced.
“We were disappointed because we wanted to win all the tournaments. We were knocked out and we had two other tournaments.
“We believe this defeat will not have an effect. In fact it makes us stronger,” said Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.
In another quarter-final, Real Betis thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0 to continue an excellent season under Manuel Pellegrini.
They occupy third place in La Liga with dreams of qualifying for the Champions League next season, and the chance to repeat the success of the Copa del Rey they last won in 2005.