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Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona, Copa del Rey Final: Final Score 0-4, Barça win Spanish Cup thanks to exceptional second half

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WHAT A PERFORMANCE! CAMPEONES!!!

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona have won the 2021 Copa del Rey and are Spanish Cup champions for the 31st time in their history thanks to a spectacular 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in Seville. Barça were the better team from the start and scored four goals in a brilliant second half to win the trophy, and Lionel Messi scored twice in what could be his last final as a Blaugrana — and he lifted the Cup to top it all off.

FIRST HALF

Barça made a good start to the half, with Frenkie De Jong hitting the post in the 5th minute as the Blaugrana showed real intent to attack and score early on. Barça had almost literally all of the possession, while Athletic had nine men behind the ball at all times and used a physical defense to try and disrupt Barça’s rhythm.

Dani García kicked everything in sight, while the two central defenders were diving in front of every shot to make important blocks whenever Barça put together a good attacking move. The Catalans focused their offense primarily on the left side, with Jordi Alba receiving the ball time and time again to try and find a cross for a teammate, but the Bilbao defense was always alert to clear the crosses away.

At halftime, Barça had all of the possession but only one real chance to score while Athletic survived the first 45 minutes, hoping to score against the run of play in the second half.

SECOND HALF

Barça came out like a battering ram in the second half, demolishing Athletic’s defense and creating chance after chance. Unai Simón had to make three exceptional saves in the first 10 minutes of the half to stop Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Busquets and Pedri, and it seems like Barça’s goal was a matter of time.

In a span of just 12 minutes, there were FOUR of them: first it was Griezmann at the end of Frenkie De Jong cross, then De Jong himself scored a header from a Jordi Alba cross, and Lionel Messi added two, the first after a beautiful one-two with De Jong and the second from inside the box after a second Alba assist.

There was still time for a disallowed goal by Griezmann that could have made it five, but nothing could spoil the mood for Barça as the final whistle came to end the game and give the Catalan giants the title. What a night, what a performance, what a victory.


Athletic: Simón; De Marcos, Yeray (Núñez 67’), Martínez, Balenziaga; Berenguer (Vesga 54’), López (Yuri 67’), García, Muniain (Lekue 46’); Williams (Villalibre 67’), R. García

Goals: None

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Dembélé 87’), Piqué (Araujo 82’), Lenglet; Dest (Roberto 74’), De Jong, Busquets, Pedri (Moriba 82’), Alba; Messi, Griezmann (Braithwaite 87’)

Goals: Griezmann (60’), De Jong (63’), Messi (68’, 72’)