Copa Del Rey 2012: Athletic Bilbao Defeat Mirandes, But Let Them Into The Tie

Fernando Llorente scored twice in Athletic Bilbao's 2-1 victory over Mirandes on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 in the Copa Del Rey.

Athletic Bilbao are in great position to advance to the Copa Del Rey final after a 2-1 away win in the first leg of their semifinal against Mirandes.

Athletic Bilbao have themselves in perfect position to progress to the final of the Copa Del Rey, but they let Mirandes back into the tie late. Marcelo Bielsa's men look set to face the winner of the Valencia - Barcelona semifinal tie, but thanks to a late goal by Mirandes' attacker Ander Lambarri, the tie is not over. Bilbao take a 2-1 lead to San Mames after their win on Tuesday, and will have to show up in the second leg.

Fernando Llorente scored both goals for Athletic, with both coming in the first 30 minutes of the game. Bielsa put his best team on the pitch despite Mirandes' minnow status, and it showed in the first half. Llorente's first goal was a header after a perfect Oscar de Marcos cross, while the second came on a right-footed shot that Gonzalez Nauzet Perez should have saved.

Lambarri came on as a substitute in the 54th minute and had a very good half, but took until stoppage time to make a massive impact with a goal. Mirandes probably needed a win in this first match to have a chance to continue their Cinderella story, but Lambarri's goal has kept them hanging on to a chance at the final by the slimmest of margins.

For more on Athletic Bilbao, check out The Offside Athletic Bilbao.

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