Jordi Blanco (Barcelona correspondent) – Barcelona mercilessly won the Copa del Rey, 4-0, an Athletic who resisted the champion’s absolute dominance for an hour as best he could, but that once it conceded Griezmann’s first goal , while playing, simply collapsed. Dominated from start to finish, the Basque team was always at the mercy of a rival who punished him mercilessly in the second half, in which he did the same as in the first … But with more success on the doorstep.
With an excellent De Jong and a superlative kick and bigoleador Messi as spearheads, Barça was a roller that Athletic could barely compete with, who miraculously ended the first half with a draw on the scoreboard and surrendered with no other option to go from 0- 1 to start. . Griezmann, De Jong, Messi and Messi personalized Barça’s four goals, which ended on a grand scale with two years of drought and added their 31st cup title.
Koeman’s team ate a scaled-down rival to begin with. He had already warned three times in seven minutes, with a shot from De Jong on the newly started pole that caused fear in the body of an Athletic who only reached Ter Stegen’s area after eleven minutes, giving him the usual shock with a free game. whose center did not end in millimeters Íñigo Martínez …
But that rojiblanco warning was more than ever the exception that proves the rule. The first half ended with no goals scored but almost overwhelming Barça dominance, with over 80 percent control of the ball and absolute control of the situation against an Athletic who would only warn again, close to halftime., In a center without more danger. from Iñaki Williams.
Led by a very active Messi, and punished by the harsh mark of Dani García, and accompanied by a monument from Jong, Barça retained patience, placement, combination and due arrival in the Unai Simón area … But he suffered, a usual deficit, from auction to transfer its broad dominance to the marker, surviving the Athletic’s siege with more comfort than it was understood by the game.
Marcelino retouched the drawing during half-time and strengthened his invisible midfield with the arrival of Lekue by a muffled Muniaín, but he found another fierce exit from Barça, which went without nonsense for the game and that, miraculously, did not give the first goal at arrival. .
Unai, three times in five minutes, denied the goal to Griezmann, Pedri and Busquets, with two masterful rejections against the French and the side, causing hilarity among the Catalans, disbelieving the bad luck repeated in the final shot. And after a timid attack from Athletic, who tried to get rid of the pressure, Barça hit.
The Basque team resisted for an hour and collapsed in three minutes. First with the center of De Jong closing off Griezmann first, majestic in his arrival from behind, to the net and without time to react, in a diagonally closed center by Jordi Alba that Messi let pass so that De Jong, head first, a wonderful performance that scored the 0-2.
Dominator of the situation without any discussion, the victory gave way to a landslide in a monumental game between De Jong and Messi that condemned the Argentinian with a compliment and a soft, tight shot to the stick he finished off a disbanded rival and not in state was repositioning itself on the field and watching the last twenty minutes like a nightmare.
Athletic screamed for the end and was already a toy at the hands of an unleashed Barça who gave him another punch shortly afterwards. In fact, he scored four goals in just twelve minutes, with another from Leo in his usual pairing game with Jordi Alba, who assisted him back for the captain to put that already humiliating 0-4 in front of the rojiblancos.
Barça avenged the Super Cup defeat, ended almost two years of drought and won a cup with a special flavor. Ronald Koeman’s first title and won with undisputed superiority as surprising and almost forgotten in a cup final.
Barça is back …