Barcelona beats Athletic Bilbao to take Copa del Rey titleJune 1, 2015
Barcelona scored their second title of the season on Saturday night when they beat Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey at the Nou Camp. Usually you would expect such as match to be hosted by a neutral venue and both sides had asked for the match to be played at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. However, Real Madrid declined to offer the use of their ground and in the end the Spanish football federation decided on the Nou Camp instead.
The match found Barcelona in fantastic form and throughout the match they controlled the pace of the match and dominated possession, but right from the start both teams were looking for an early goal. 10 minutes in and it looked like the Catalans had done just that when Neymar put the ball into the net off a Messi assist. The goal was ruled offside though and so it was not until the 19th minute that Leo Messi single handedly beat the Athletic defence to score the opener. Barcelona’s second goal came 15 minutes after, when Messi and Suarez set up Neymar to score. Both sides came close to scoring before the break, but the score remained at 2-0 to Barcelona when the half time whistle blew.
In the second half Xavi came on in place of Iniesta for his very final appearance at the Nou Camp but the pace of the match was much slower than the fierst half. Nearly half an hour into the second half saw Neymar and Dani Alves set up Messi to score his second of the night and effectively end any hope Athletic had of getting back into the match. However, Iñaki Williams clawed one back for Athletic in the closing minutes of the game, which spurred the Basques into stepping up a notch, but when the final whistle blew Barcelona had won the title 3-1.
Next Saturday sees Barcelona travelling to Berlin for the Champions League final against Juventus and the ambition of winning the treble.
0-1 Messi (min 19)
0-2 Neymar (min 35)
0-3 Messi (min 72)
1-3 Williams (min 77)