Athletic Club put one foot in the last-16 of the Copa del Rey after thrashing La Liga’s bottom side Huesca 4-0 at San Mames thanks to an Aritz Aduriz double and Beñat free-kick with a Pablo Insua own goal completing the rout.
The Basques took the lead after just ten minutes through Artiz Aduriz, who was returning to the starting line up after sitting on the bench against Getafe at the weekend.
Beñat swung in a free kick from the right and Aduriz rose highest to glance the ball into the far corner of the Huesca net.
Huesca weren’t being outplayed however and went very close to levelling the scores after twenty minutes when Ezequiel Avila intercepted a stray Oscar De Marcos pass before sending a low shot towards goal, but unfortunately for him, it came crashing back off the base of the post.
That miss would come back to haunt the visitors just seven minutes later as Bilbao doubled their lead. Iñaki Williams sent the ball across goal and although Axel Werner pushed the ball out, it came rebounding back of Pablo Insua into the net.
It was three on 32 minutes with Aduriz again finding space in the box to meet De Marcos’ cross and nod the ball into the bottom corner.
Avila and Williams had one final chance for each team in the first half, Avila’s shot flying just past the post from distance before Williams forced Werner into a save at the other end.
Huesca began the second half on the front foot and went close twice in quick succession in the first eight minutes, with both Avila and Serdar Gurler being denied by Unai Simon in the Athletic goal.
Just two minutes after the Gurler chance, Los Leones put the game beyond any doubt when Beñat curled a beautiful free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner of Werner’s net.
Gorka Guruzeta almost added a fifth soon after when he was found in the middle of the goal but Werner was able to block his shot.
Simon was called into action one more time on the hour mark when he was able to tip Lluis Sastre’s half volley over the bar.
Athletic were happy with their comfortable lead and seemed more than content to let the away side control possession but Huesca struggled to create and have it all to do at El Alcoraz a week on Thursday if they are to make it through.
Athletic Club: Simon; De Marcos, Nolaskoain, Martinez, Yuri; Beñat (Garcia, 64), San Jose, Muniain; Williams, Aduriz (Ganea, 72), Guruzeta (Capa, 79)
Huesca: Werner; Akapo, Insua, Semedo (Pulido, 33), Brezancic (Miramon, 46); Aguilera; Gurler (Camacho, 80), Rivera, Sastre, Avila; Longo