The match, delayed by 12 months in the hope that fans from both teams would be able to attend, was the first final in history contested by the Basque Country’s two biggest clubs.


Neither Real Madrid was there nor was Barcelona there.

To add an extra dimension to the event, the heavens opened above the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville shortly after kick-off, making what was already a frantic start to proceedings that much more intense.

Athletic’s Raul García sent the first shot across goal after 11 minutes but the man most concerning defenders was Alexander Isak at the other end. It is not just that the Real Sociedad striker moves fast, but moves smartly.

Pushed back, Athletic’s defensive pairing stood tall at this stage – later, it would be a different story – and then at the other end, Martínez almost opened the scoring, controlling a long ball on his chest way out on the left touchline.

Iker Munian heading over at the far post and Inaki Williams up and running now, but this was still tight, still nervy, the weight of history upon them all.

As the second half began, it already felt like the first goal would win this. And it could come from anywhere, any isolated moment – such as the long VAR check for a potential penalty due to a Martínez handball in the first minute.

After a lengthy VAR check, the centre-back was adjudged to have handballed Oyarzabal’s cross outside of the penalty area.

He wasn’t so fortunate a few minutes later, though, as this time pulled up for a trip on Cristian Portu inside the box.

Martinez had stretched to cut off Oyarzabal’s cross, with Portu reaching the ball before him.

There was a reprieve in the fact that, after another VAR review, Martinez’s red card was downgraded to yellow. Oyarzabal had no mercy from the spot, sending Unai Simon the wrong way to give Imanol Alguacil’s side a valuable lead.

Marcelino made changes in an attempt to swing fortune in his favour, but nothing happened.

Eight minutes were added for stoppage time and it seemed like an eternity and ultimately when the final whistle blew, the 34-year wait was over.


Glory for Real Sociedad.

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