De Jong leads Barcelona to Copa del Rey crown with perfect-10 performance vs. Athletic

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ESPN 17 April, 2021 - 05:16pm 31 views

When is Copa del Rey final?

Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao meet on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET with a major trophy on the line as the two historic clubs battle in the 2020-21 Copa del Rey final. CBSSports.comBarcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao score: Live updates from Copa del Rey final as Messi chases another trophy

Where can I see Copa del Rey?

The Copa del Rey final can be seen exclusively on ESPN+ in English and Spanish. Sporting NewsHow to watch Copa del Rey final in USA: TV schedule, channel for Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao

What channel is Barcelona vs Athletic Club on?

What TV channel is Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao on and can I live stream it? Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao is live on Premier Sports 1. Coverage commences on kick-off at 8.30pm. To stream the game live, head to the Premier Player. gsu.edu*!streaming-live!* FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club Live Copa Del Rey Final Free @HD 17 April 2021

Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 on Saturday at La Cartuja in Seville to win the Copa del Rey and secure their first trophy under coach Ronald Koeman. Lionel Messi scored twice, and Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong also were on target as Barca won their first piece of silverware since 2019 and lifted the Spanish cup for a record-extending 31st time.

All four goals arrived in 12 second-half minutes after De Jong set up Griezmann for the opener on the hour mark. De Jong then stooped low to head home a Jordi Alba cross, before linking with Messi to create the third. Messi completed the scoring in the 72nd minute, sweeping home another Alba cross.

The result saw Athletic beaten in a Copa del Rey final for the second time this month, having lost the long-delayed 2020 final to Real Sociedad on April 3.

Barca endured a trophy-less season last time out -- their first since 2007-08 -- and hadn't won anything since the 2018-19 league title. Since then, they have lost a Copa del Rey final to Valencia and the Spanish Supercopa final to Athletic earlier this year. This win, therefore, served as revenge for that defeat, but was also a hugely important win for Koeman.

The Dutch coach has been criticised for Barca's failure to compete in big games, with that Supercopa defeat paired with Clasico losses and a Champions League exit. He will hope this win serves to silence the doubters and as a timely morale boost for the title run-in in La Liga. Barca are just two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with eight games to play. A domestic double is a very real prospect.

Copa success will also have been sweet for the likes of Griezmann, De Jong, Pedri and Oscar Mingueza, among others, who had never previously won a trophy with the Catalan club.

It's hard to be critical of that performance, although Barca were not clinical in a first half they dominated. Zooming out, there are questions to answer about the futures of Miralem Pjanic and Riqui Puig. Neither player made the bench for the final.

8 -- Koeman opted to stick with a back three and brought Griezmann and Gerard Pique into the side following last weekend's Clasico defeat to Real Madrid. Barca were on top from the first minute to the last.

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 7 -- Barca's dominance meant he had little to do but was good with his feet, except for one first-half mistake.

DF Oscar Mingueza, 7 -- Another assured performance caps an incredible season for the academy graduate, who has come from nowhere to make himself a regular in Koeman's side.

DF Gerard Pique, 8 -- Returned from a knee injury to produce a composed and commanding performance at the back.

DF Clement Lenglet, 7 -- Has improved a lot in the past two months and looks much more confident than he did earlier in the season.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 10 -- Was everywhere. Hit the post in the first half, set up two of the four goals and scored one of his own. Also popped up in defence to make blocks and interceptions and controlled the game from midfield. Imperious.

MF Sergio Busquets, 8 -- Swarmed all over Athletic when Barca lost the ball and used it well, passing creatively through the lines.

MF Pedri, 7 -- Brilliant pressing throughout the game and useful with the ball. Almost scored, but saw his shot tipped wide by Unai Simon.

MF Jordi Alba, 8 -- Loves the freedom he gets playing as a wing-back and got forward to create two of the goals.

FW Lionel Messi, 9 -- Scored a brilliant first goal, playing two one-twos with De Jong, before beating Simon inside the box. Added another, too, but even without the goals, he was a menace all night.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 8 -- Missed a good chance to open the scoring before scoring a similar opportunity minutes later. Linked the team well in attack and worked hard off the ball.

MF Sergi Roberto, 6 -- Came on for Dest once Barca had motored away from Athletic.

MF Ilaix Moriba, N/R -- Only given the final few minutes but the 18-year-old will treasure them as he won his first trophy with Barca.

DF Ronald Araujo, N/R -- Like Ilaix, will have appreciated the time on the pitch as Barca won the cup.

FW Martin Braithwaite, N/R -- The semifinal hero only came on for the final three minutes.

FW Ousmane Dembele, N/R -- A fitness issue confined him to the bench, but Koeman still handed him the last few minutes.

Read full article at ESPN

Laporta watches Barcelona train at La Cartuja

MARCA.com 18 April, 2021 - 03:25am

Gerard Pique joined the team without any problems

President Joan Laporta was in the stands and watched the session in full after travelling with the squad.

Laporta also watched the team in training at the club's training ground in Sant Joan Despi only a few days ago and will be hoping to win a second Copa del Rey title while in the position.

Many other members of his board have also travelled to Seville, including vice presidents Rafael Yuste, Elena Fort and Juli Guiu, director Josep Maria Albert, CEO Oscar Grau and his future replacement Ferran Reverter, director of football Mateu Alemany, technical secretary Ramon Planes, the first team's director of sporting and institutional relations Guillermo Amor and sporting adviser Enric Masip.

The rest of the board will join them on Saturday ahead of the clash with Athletic Club.

Gerard Pique trained fully at La Cartuja, seemingly having overcome knee discomfort, and he's in line to start against Athletic.

MATCH PREVIEW (THE LOCKER ROOM): COPA DEL REY FINAL

FC Barcelona 18 April, 2021 - 03:25am

Frenkie de Jong stars as Koeman wins his first trophy as Barcelona boss - Football Oranje

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Earlier in the year, Athletic Bilbao denied Koeman and Barcelona in the final of the Supercopa, but this time the Catalan giants proved too strong.

Frenkie de Jong played a key role in the final, firstly hitting the post in the first-half which remained goalless. On the hour mark, the Dutch midfielder assisted Antoine Griezmann to open the scoring before De Jong made it 2-0 with a header shortly afterwards.

In the 68th minute, De Jong got his second assist, this time for Lionel Messi to make it 3-0 and the Argentinian then added a fourth before the end.

Barcelona lift their first trophy under Koeman and they now can concentrate on the league. For De Jong, it was an exceptional performance as he also gets his first silverware since joining the Catalan club.

Barcelona player ratings vs Athletic Club: De Jong comes into his own

MARCA.com 17 April, 2021 - 04:38pm

Dutchman makes the difference in Copa final

The former Ajax midfielder was one of a number of Blaugrana players who put in outstanding displays at the Estadio de la Cartuja, especially in the second half.

How did you rate the performances of the Barcelona players? Vote below.

Athletic vs Barcelona: Messi's last final?

MARCA.com 17 April, 2021 - 05:00am

Could be the Argentine's last cup final in a Barcelona shirt

Barcelona have come out of top on three occasions, but Athletic will take confidence from their last meeting back in January which saw the Basque side lift the Supercopa de Espana.

There is an added factor to this match, however - could it be Lionel Messi's last final in a Barcelona shirt? Earlier in the season it looked like he could be on his way out of the Camp Nou, although it seems more likely now that he'll stay this summer.

This is a huge game for Barcelona, who can't afford to lose after falling to Real Madrid in last weekend's Clasico.

Ronald Koeman's side still have a good chance of pushing for the LaLiga Santander title, but this piece of silverware is within reach and defeat would be a huge blow to their season.

A loss against Barcelona would be their sixth consecutive cup final defeat, which would be a record in Spanish football with their last cup win coming back in 1984.

Barcelona

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