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Athletic Bilbao can win two Copa del Reys in two weeks

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After beating Levante 3-2 on aggregate on Thursday to book their place in this season’s final against Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao could win two Copa del Reys in two weeks.

Bilbao’s 2-1 extra-time victory means they’ll face Barca on April 17 at La Cartuja, just a few days after playing Real Sociedad in the postponed final of last season’s tournament at the same venue.

Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona will compete in Spain’s domestic cup final for the fourth time this century, with the Catalans winning all three previous encounters in 2009, 2012, and 2015.

In Seville, Barcelona will be aiming for a record-extending 31st Copa del Rey victory, while Athletic Bilbao will be chasing their 24th, or possibly 25th.

Since the arrival of new coach Marcelino in January, Bilbao has been revitalized, winning the Spanish Super Cup the same month with surprising victories over both Barcelona and Real Madrid. In the final, Lionel Messi was sent off.

Marcelino also coached Valencia to victory over Barcelona in the 2019 Copa del Rey final, giving him a chance to win the competition three times in a row.

Levante had already defeated Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in La Liga this season, and Roger Marti’s corner on the turn in the 17th minute gave them the perfect start to the second leg.

After being pulled down by Oscar Duarte, Raul Garcia equalized for Bilbao from the penalty spot, before Alex Berenguer scored the winner in extra time.

Berenguer’s curling effort in the 112th minute deflected in off Nikola Vukcevic and then the post, advancing his team to the final.

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