The Copa del Rey’s new single-elimination format claimed its biggest victims on Thursday, with Real Madrid and Barcelona both being eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Madrid lost 4-3 to Real Sociedad at home before Barcelona conceded a late goal to lose 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao on the most surprising night of a competition filled with upsets.
Defending champion Valencia also lost on Tuesday and Villarreal was eliminated on Wednesday. Sevilla and Atlético Madrid had already been ousted in previous rounds.
Only the semifinals are being played over two legs this season, giving smaller clubs greater chances of knocking out bigger teams.
The surprising last four will also include Granada and second-division club Mirandés. It’s the first time in a decade that neither Madrid nor Barcelona made it to the last four in the Copa. At least one of the Spanish powerhouses had reached the final every year since the 2009-10 season, when Sevilla won the title. Barcelona made the final the last six years in a row.