Barcelona completed a domestic double in their own stadium on Saturday night as they beat Athletic Bilbao. Lionel Messi scored another wonder goal in the Copa del Rey final as Barcelona moved a step closer to completing the treble on Saturday night (30/5) with a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao. Neymar added the second goal soon byrounded off a neat team move to double Barca’s advantage nine minutes before the break. Messi put the game further out of Athletic’s reach by stabbing home a third goal on 74 minutes.
The match reinforced the talks about how we are currently living in Lionel Messi’s world by his wonderful, unstoppable goal. Messi had already set up what should have been the opening goal with a pass to Neymar, while he was also involved in the second goal to open up Athletic’s defense. Messi weaved his way past four defenders and then beat Iago Herrerin at his near post for a stunning strike which set the Nou Camp alight on 20 minutes.
While 20-year-old Inaki Williams, who had struck the bar with a volley four minutes before half-time, was rewarded for his endeavor with a consolation cup final goal 11 minutes from time, but that was as good as it got for the Basque outfit. The young Basque forward Inaki Williams provides a quicker and more unpredictable threat in the final third than Athletic’s long-standing established players. Williams got his goal in the closing stages with a fine header into the far corner, and there will be lots more to come from this exciting young talent next season.
Athletic manager Ernesto Valverde knew that he would work hard to beat the champions of Spain, but his task was made all the more difficult with several key absentees. Iker Muniain has suffered a long-term injury which put him off the pitch, while Oscar de Marcos was also unavailable. The Basque side worked hard, and although they created little in the end, they gave another good account of themselves. They showed why they have been able to make such an improvement over the second half of the season.
While the hero of Athletic Bilbao is Iago Herrerin who might have ended on the losing side, but Athletic goalkeeper Iago Herrerin put in a brilliant performance to keep his team in the game for a long spell in the first half.
And the Catalans’ triumph brought them a 27th Copa del Rey, more than any other side in Spain.