Lionel Messi stars as FC Barcelona win their 31st Copa del Rey trophy

Lionel Messi scored a brace as FC Barceloa thrashed Athletic Bilbao 4-0 to win the 2021 Copa del Rey final.

Lionel Messi led FC Barcelona to the Copa del Rey. (Twitter/@FCBarcelona)

FC Barcelona thrashed Athletic ­­­­Bilbao 4-0 to win their 31st Copa del Rey title at Seville on Saturday. The Catalan club put on a dominating performance in the second half, thus scoring four goals in the space of 12 minutes. Lionel Messi scored a brace to put the icing on the cake. It was Ronald Koeman’s first title as Barca manager after taking charge of the club at the start of the campaign. Barca had 79 percent of the ball possession and dominated the game from the start to the finish. In the 60th minute Antoine Griezmann tapped in a low cross to give them the lead. Three minutes later, Frenkie de Jong headed in a superb cross from left-back Jordi Alba to make it 2-0.

Lionel Messi got into the score sheet in the 68th minute. It all started a move from the right side of midfield. He played a little one-two with de Jong to get inside the penalty box. From there, he cut inside to beat a defender and fired home into bottom right corner.

The Barca captain got the second goal four minutes later. This time, he fired in a grounded shot past Athletic keeper Unai Simon from a Jordi Alba cut-back.

Messi, Koeman future uncertain?

Athletic Bilbao never looked like a team playing in their second consecutive Copa del Rey final. Last season’s Copa del Rey final happened two weeks ago in the same stadium and Bilbao was beaten 1-0 by local rivals Real Sociedad.

The title should boost Koemans chances of continuing at the club. But Lionel Messi’s future at the club is still unclear even after the seventh Copa del Rey triumph.

Nevertheless, there were plenty of positives for the Blaugrana. De Jong was incredible on the night got two assists, as did Jordi Alba.

Their focus will now turn to La Liga, where they still have a chance of ending the league as victors.

Sportslumo Desk

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