Messi stars as Barcelona thrash Athletic Bilbao to lift Copa del Rey

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The Guardian 17 April, 2021 - 05:34pm 35 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

Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, meanwhile, lifted their first having sparked Barcelona into life with the first and second of a four goal burst early in the second half that ended what little resistance Athletic Bilbao could muster – which wasn’t much. So too did manager Ronald Koeman, who must have wondered how his team were not leading at the break, but was beaming by the end. Ultimately, they were just much too good, taking Athletic apart piece by piece. Rarely can a final have been so one-sided.

There is room for optimism at Barcelona now, one trophy secured, a league title still to play for. Maybe even a future too, whether that is with Messi or with the men he would leave behind. For Athletic, by contrast, this cut deep. They have now lost two Copa del Rey finals here in a fortnight, five in 12 years, and six since they last lifted a major trophy in 1984. Four of those have been against Barcelona, in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2021. In each of those finals, Messi scored. And if defeat was always likely, they didn’t picture it like this, a destruction so complete, so comfortable.

If defeat was always likely, a destruction so complete, so comfortable was not. “If we think we are going to have more of the ball than Barcelona, we’re not living in the real world,” Marcelino had said, but even he can’t have imagined this. One minute and 59 seconds had passed before they even touched it, and that was a challenge that gave away a throw, the cycle beginning again and hardly finishing until the game was over.

Sergiño Dest cut inside and shot wide after six minutes. Messi slotted a cleverly angled ball for Griezmann that concluded with a deflected effort sneaking past a post. A neat move between Messi and Óscar Mingueza worked them deep into Athletic’s area and yielded another blocked shot. All Athletic could do was wait, although Iñigo Martinez dived to toe-end a bouncing delivery just beyond the post, a fleeting reminder that they were actually in the game.

By the time they had played six more, Barcelona led and the dam had burst. From almost the same place as he had that first chance, Griezmann was presented with another. Superbly supplied by De Jong, on his feet this time, he sidefooted home.

Athletic had trailed 1-0 in every game on route to this final but they had never felt this sense of inferiority and any hope of a fightback was snuffed out four minutes later when the superb De Jong headed in from Alba’s delivery. Athletic were finished; Barcelona weren’t.

A wonderful move that began deep inside their own half started, continued and finished by Messi unfolded. The Argentinian was involved in a series of exchanges with De Jong and at the end of it, he stepped inside and rolled into the corner. Eight minutes, three goals, game over. Wait, no. Twelve minutes, four goals, and this was a destruction, finished off with a move seen so many times but no easier to stop for it, a hint of nostalgia and another trophy.

Read full article at The Guardian

Minute-by-minute on Copa del Rey final day

FC Barcelona 17 April, 2021 - 12:00am

8.00pm: Just an hour to go before the next episode in what has been a remarkable history in recent years:

7.40pm: Do you remember the last time Barça and Athletic met in the final? Do you remember THAT goal which Leo Messi scored... Get in the mood for this year's game by watching the one lin 2014/15: 

7.30 pm: The team are getting a light meal, after which they'll be leaving their hotel to board the coach to the ground. Not long to wait now!

7.00pm: This will be the 42nd Copa del Rey final for FC Barcelona, more than any other club in Spain as their nearest rivals are Real Madrid on 39. 

6.25pm: 29 goals in 33 finals - that could only be one man! 

😍 We're wearing the 𝘚𝘦𝘯𝘺𝘦𝘳𝘢 kit in the Copa del Rey final! #CopaBarça

4.30pm: With five hours to go until kick off, now is a good time to look back at Barça's path toda's final: 

2.30pm: Here is a compilation of 10 facts about this year's Copa del Rey final.

2:00pm: It's lunchtime for the FC Barcelona squad. 

1:30pm: The countdown is on! Just hours remain before FC Barcelona head to La Cartuja. The stadium may be empty, but there will be a large canvas present to show support for the team.

12.00pm: Ronald Koeman is an expert in cup finals. The FC Barcelona coach has contested 30 such games: 20 as a player and 10 as a coach.

11.35am: The squad have finished training at the Luis del Sol facility, and are returning to the team hotel.

11:30am: Athletic Club and FC Barcelona have met previously in eight finals. Here is what happened in those games.

11:00am: Training for the squad is underway at the Luis del Sol facility, with an activation session led by coach Ronald Koeman.

The game itself will be broadcast live in 159 countries, and in every continent besides Australia. Never before has a Copa del Rey final been seen in so many places around the world.

Barcelona

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