On an evening when the competition was blown wide open, with Real Madrid conjointly exiting at the hands of Real Sociedad, a tough week for Barcelona following Lionel Messi’s public criticism of the board was made worse.
Quique Setien made only 1 modification to the side that had crushed Levante at the weekend, with Sergi Roberto returning in in place of Antoine Griezmann.
Teenager Ansu Fati had scored each goals therein game and nearly got off on a similar foot here, denied only by a terrific block from Unai Nunez, who would conjointly make a goal-saving challenge on Messi later within the half.
In between, Williams had a goal properly ruled out for offside as he turned in from close range at the back post, however it had been a half few clear-cut openings, summed up by Messi curling a free-kick straight into the wall in stoppage time from the kind of position where he’s typically deadly.
Messi’s wondrous pass looked to have given Frenkie de Jong the prospect to open the scoring shortly before the hour mark, however he tried to round the ‘keeper and was booked diving as he hit the deck in anticipation of contact.
Griezmann was sent on in place of Fati and shortly had probably the most effective probability of the game, denied by the legs of Unai Simon when Roberto’s clever pull back.
Simon then created an excellent better stop to keep Messi out, whereas Williams missed Athletic’s solely real opening of the period of play, scuffing wide on the volley within the last minute of normal time.
But even as additional time appeared a certainty, Williams made amends, flicking a header into the way corner to send Athletic into the semi-finals.