Leagues & Cups
All Leagues & Cups
UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
FIFA Club World Cup
Copa del Rey
WC Qualification Europe
WC Qualification South America
Women's Super League
UEFA Women's Champions League
Football on TV
Pick Your Language
Pick Your English Edition
Other English editions
Other English editions
United Arab Emirates
1 - 1
Íñigo Martínez (58)
San Mamés Barria
Athletic Club v Levante Live Commentary,
Brought to you by
1 - 1
Jorge de Frutos
0 - 1
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
That is all for today's live text coverage. Thanks for joining, goodbye!
The sides will reconvene at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on March 4 for the second leg, with the winner to face either Sevilla or Barcelona in the final. Athletic have three league games to play before then, starting with Monday's trip to Cadiz. Levante host Osasuna in three days' time on their return to league action.
There is nothing to separate Athletic Bilbao and Levante at the end of the first leg of this Copa del Rey semi-final tie. Melero fired the visitors in front from the only real chance of the first half and Martinez equalised shortly before the hour mark to ensure that it remains all to play for.
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 1-1 LEVANTE
90' + 4'
LATE CHANCE! Muniain's set-pieces are causing Levante all sorts of problems. Alvarez gets on the end of this latest corner and heads down for Cardenas to make a routine save. The hosts felt it skimmed Morales' arm on its way through but the officials disagree.
90' + 2'
Muniain catches Duarte in the face with a stray arm when attempting to hold off his opponent. The referee decides against reaching into his pocket on this occasion.
Five minutes have been added on at the end of this tight first leg.
A couple of crosses into the box are headed away by Levante players. A drilled delivery from deep then goes straight behind for a goal-kick.
Muniain is okay to see out the remainder of the game. These constant stoppages have not helped Athletic to maintain any sort of momentum. Time is nearly up to find a first-leg winner.
Athletic skipper Muniain has been in the wars today and this time stays down after being clattered into by Rochina. There will be a brief stoppage in play.
A member of Lopez's backroom staff has been shown a red card by referee Jesus Gil Manzano, seemingly for something he said.
Credit to Athletic for maintaining their high tempo - Marcelino's substitutions have certainly worked. Levante are tiring but still have a little over 10 minutes to see out.
Bardhi, who has impressed in spells today, makes way for Vezo.
Williams, who has put in a good shift in this second half, makes way for fellow forward Villalibre.
Gomez chases down a simple ball over the top. Simon again reads the danger well and is stood on the edge of his area, where he is waiting to head it to safety.
It is getting to the stage now where both managers will be weighing up exactly what this scoreline means in terms of their hopes of progression. Levante would likely take a 1-1 draw with a home tie to come.
Postigo slides in on Williams in the penalty area. He had to time the challenge to perfection and did exactly that - great defending! We are in for a gripping final 15 minutes or so.
Marcelino still has another couple of substitutions available, while opposite number Lopez can make one more change. Remember, nothing can be decided today - this is a two-legged tie.
Athletic have lost a bit of their momentum over the past 10 minutes. In fact, Levante are starting to grow back into the game and win themselves another corner, which is easily gathered by Simon under his crossbar.
Jorge de Frutos
De Frutos, who assisted his side's goal, is taken off with 22 minutes to go. Rochina is the player brought on.
Roger is off and Martinez on as Lopez makes another couple of changes.
Williams again puts his pace to good use to keep a ball in down the right. His cross is heading towards Raul Garcia, but Cardenas reads the danger well and gets two hands to it.
Roger flicks a left-sided cross into the side-netting from a rare Levante attack, but he was offside anyway. Visiting boss Lopez must surely be tempted to make another change.
Postigo does just about enough to put off Williams from getting to a ball over the top. Athletic are looking good value for a second goal - what a turnaround this has been.
WHAT A BLOCK! Postigo passes the ball straight to Berenguer, who carries it into the box and gets a shot away that is superbly blocked by Duarte in front of goal. The ball comes back into the middle and Berenguer heads straight at Cardenas.
Muniain's corner was right on the money, crying out for one of his team-mates to attack. Martinez did exactly that with an impressive header.
GOOOOAAAALLL!!! ATHLETIC 1-1 LEVANTE!! It has been coming! Athletic have dominated since half-time and are deservedly level at San Mames. Muniain sends in another great set-piece delivery and Martinez guides a header into the far-left corner from the edge of the six-yard box. Great technique, that!
Levante have managed to take a bit of sting out of the game following those quickfire chances for Athletic. Raul Garcia, Berenguer and Williams were all denied by Cardenas in the space of four minutes.
Only Angel Correa (nine) has provided more assists than Levante's Jorge de Frutos (eight) among LaLiga players in all competitions this season (alongside Iago Aspas, Jordi Alba and Antoine Griezmann).
Levante make a second change of the match as Son comes on for Coke.
Melero has suffered an injury and is unable to continue. Malsa is brought on for the visitors.
CARDENAS MAKES ANOTHER SAVE! Williams is given a ball to chase down. The angle is against the forward and his low shot is a pretty routine one for the increasingly busy Cardenas to keep out.
ANOTHER CHANCE! Athletic are seriously knocking on the door for an equaliser. The ball is headed into the path of Berenguer and the half-time substitute adjusts his feet to get a shot away from eight yards. Cardenas is once again alert to make the save.
GREAT SAVE! Muniain, who has clearly recovered from the knock sustained in the first half, swings in a delightful cross and Raul Garcia meets it at the back post. His diving header is on target but Cardenas helps it over the bar with a strong hand.
Marcelino clearly wants his side to go all-out attack to find an equaliser. Levante, who have formed a solid shape at the back, may well find some gaps to break into as this game goes on.
Lopez is on for Garcia in the third of Athletic's half-time changes.
Vesga takes over from Vencedor in Athletic's second half-time change.
The home side have made three changes at the break, with Berenguer on for Capa in the first of those substitutions.
RESTART! Athletic Bilbao get us back under way at San Mames. Will the triple change make any difference for the hosts in the second 45 minutes?
Levante are good value for their half-time lead, even if Athletic have had three shots on target to the visitors' one. In a further blow for Marcelino, skipper Muniain was hobbling towards the end of the first half and may well have to be taken off at the interval.
Melero's strike after 26 minutes has given Levante a 1-0 lead over Athletic at half-time. The midfielder profited from some poor home defending to fire past Simon at the second attempt from the only clear-cut chance of the game so far. Martinez had a header blocked in front of goal soon after from Athletic's only opportunity of note.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-1 LEVANTE
Muniain appears to have sustained a knock. Lopez has been sent to warm up.
Capa slides a nice pass into the feet of Muniain, who tries to return the favour. The midfielder does not get enough on the one-touch pass, though, and it is collected by Cardenas.
Athletic have a bit more of an attacking edge to their game since falling behind, but Martinez's header is all they have managed in terms of chances so far. There are around three minutes of the first half to play.
Williams carries the ball forward and spots De Marcos make a run through the middle, but he is unable to pick out his team-mate with a overhit pass.
Melero and De Marcos go in for a 50-50 ball with their studs showing. Both players want the referee to reach into his pocket but the official decides to book neither.
CHANCE! Muniain's whipped corner from the left is met by the head of Martinez. He heads down and it hits Radoja just in front of goal - legally, according to the officials.
Coke is the third player to be booked already following a pretty poor challenge on Muniain.
Great play by Bardhi! The North Macedonia international chases down the ball out wide, turns his opponent inside out and sends in a cross that just evades Roger. Simon is able to gather at his near post.
Raul Garcia slides in on Melero in an attempt to win the ball but only succeeds in bringing down his opponent.
Marcelino will be furious with his side's defending for Levante's opener - from the cross that came into the box to Melero being allowed two attempts at the shot from 12 yards.
SAVE! The game has finally burst into life! Athletic almost make an instant response to their setback through a Williams shot from range that forces Cardenas into his first save of the game.
Jorge de Frutos
De Frutos sent a cross in from the right and, thanks to some shocking Athletic defending, Melero was able to bury the ball from 12 yards.
GOOOOAAALLL!!! ATHLETIC 0-1 LEVANTE!! Melero fires the visitors ahead with 26 minutes played! The midfielder is left totally unmarked near the penalty spot and, after initially making a complete mess of his first attempt, he still has time to compose himself and fire past Simon from the second.
Well we have a tight match on our hands, if nothing else. There has been very little action in the final third at either end so far. Athletic are knocking the ball around but without any real purpose.
Twenty-two minutes have been played at San Mames and we are still awaiting the first shot of any sort. Levante have had 57 per cent of the ball so far and have just about been the better side.
The free-kick delivery is pretty poor, with Simon coming five yards off his line to gather.
De Frutos knocks the ball past Martinez and the Athletic player steps across his man to halt his run, earning himself the first yellow card of the contest.
Marcelino's side have offered very little so far in an attacking sense, with every ball into the opposition box being dealt with. Levante had a massive opportunity early on, though it would not have counted anyway because of the offside flag going up.
Radoja halts the run of Raul Garcia and Athletic have a free-kick around 35 yards out. It is crossed into the box but a Levante player gets to it first.
Yuri's cross from the left takes a slight deflection but is easily dealt with in the middle of the penalty area.
A long pass is played over the top of Levante's defence but De Marcos is unable to keep it in play at full stretch. The home side are finally starting to settle into the game.
Athletic Bilbao have progressed in nine consecutive knockout rounds in the Copa del Rey - their best run since 11 in a row between 1983 and 1985 (including finals).
Levante have enjoyed a good spell on the ball, working it from one side of the pitch to the other. Morales appears to have positioned himself high up on the right, rather than the left.
The visitors have been the better side in the opening stages of the match. Athletic have not really managed to get the ball to Williams, who has had just one touch of the ball so far.
In fact, the offside flag did go up so the goal would not have stood even if Coke or Melero converted it.
Levante work the corner short and it is played in from the right. Coke is offside but it is Melero who get his head to the ball first, only to guide it wide of the target from less than six yards out.
There have been a few fouls early on, making for a stop-start feel to the match in the opening two minutes.
KICK-OFF! We are up and running at San Mames! Athletic, who are still technically on course for back-to-back Copa crowns, will be looking to make home advantage count here.
Both sets of players are now out on the field of play ahead of this Copa del Rey semi-final first leg. The reverse fixture, incidentally, will take place at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia on March 4, with the winners to face either Sevilla or Barcelona in the final.
Athletic Bilbao and Levante have faced each other just twice before in the Copa del Rey, both fixtures coming in the 1946-47 season. Athletic won 6-2 at home and advanced through 8-6 aggregate winners in a high-scoring last-16 tie.
Lopez has also made five changes to Levante's starting line-up following the 2-2 draw with Granada five days ago. That includes a change in goal, with cup keeper Cardenas taking over from Fernandez. Coke and Postigo return to the backline, while De Frutos and Bardhi are also recalled to the XI.
Athletic show five changes from their 1-1 league draw with Valencia last weekend. Alvarez and Yuri return to the back four in place of the benched Nunez and Balenziaga, while De Marcos, Muniain and Raul Garcia are preferred to Berenguer, Morcillo and Oihan Sancet, the latter of whom is not included in the squad today.
Subs: Dani Gomez, Tono, Mickael Malsa, Rober Pier, Ruben Vezo, Sergio Leon, Ruben Rochina, Son, Aitor Fernandez.
LEVANTE XI (4-2-3-1): Dani Cardenas; Coke, Oscar Duarte, Sergio Postigo, Carlos Clerc; Gonzalo Melero, Nemanja Radoja; Jorge de Frutos, Enis Bardhi, Jose Luis Morales (c); Roger Marti.
Subs: Unai Nunez, Inigo Lekue, Jon Morcillo, Mikel Vesga, Unai Lopez, Alex Berenguer, Mikel Balenziaga, Jokin Ezkieta, Asier Villalibre.
ATHLETIC XI (4-4-2): Unai Simon; Ander Capa, Yeray Alvarez, Inigo Martinez, Yuri; Oscar De Marcos, Dani Garcia, Unai Vencedor, Iker Muniain (c); Inaki Williams, Raul Garcia.
Athletic survived a big scare against Real Betis in the last round, as they took the game to extra time with a 94th-minute equaliser and then won it 4-1 on penalties. Marcelino's men have won this competition 23 times - only Barcelona (30 times) have done so more - and are still waiting to play Real Sociedad in the 2019-20 final, that game having been rescheduled for April.
Levante enter this game unbeaten in nine in all competitions and are two points better off than their opponents in LaLiga. Paco Lopez's side have already progressed through five rounds to make it to this stage, most recently overcoming Villarreal 1-0 after extra time through Roger Marti's 120th-minute goal.
Hello and welcome to our live text coverage of the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg between Athletic Bilbao and Levante at San Mames.