Barca win Copa del Rey with destruction of Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona: Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong inspired Barcelona to a 4-0 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to win the Copa del Rey for a record 3...
Barcelona: Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong inspired Barcelona to a 4-0 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to win the Copa del Rey for a record 31st time.
The Catalans picked up their first silverware of the season and gained revenge for their Spanish Super Cup defeat by Athletic in January with a convincing victory, DPA reported. The Basques, who lost the postponed 2020 final a fortnight ago also at La Cartuja in Seville, have not won the cup since 1984, when they beat Barcelona.
Ronald Koeman's side, in search of their first trophy for almost two years, started well and almost went ahead when De Jong fired against the post from Messi's cut-back.
It was the best opportunity of a first half which they dominated, without creating too many clear-cut chances.
Messi had a shot blocked and a free kick which hit the wall, while Inigo Martinez flicked an effort inches wide at the other end.Antoine Griezmann should have broken the deadlock in the second half but was denied from point-blank range by Athletic goalkeeper Unai Simon.
The Spain international pulled off an even better stop moments later, denying Sergio Busquets from a similarly close proximity.
Eventually, Barcelona broke the deadlock on the hour mark, with Griezmann making amends for his earlier miss by sweeping home from De Jong's cross.