Barcelona have taken another step towards claiming a season treble after comfortably beating Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Copa Del Rey final in the Camp Nou.
Luis Enriquea s team, who are trying to emulate Pep Guardiolaa s great Barcelona side in trying to win all the trophies that are on offer, were on fire today, giving Bilbaoa s defence a tormented time. Both teams started the game positively, and had each one chance to open the scoring, but neither side could capitalize on the opportunities. It was down to Lionel Messi to once again step up on a big stage and produce a piece of magic that left everyone in the stadium wondering how this little magician can continue to keep them amazed with his skill.
Breaking down from the right side, Messi weaved past 4 players trying to take the ball away from before finding himself in the box. He unleashed a shot to the near post that left the Bilbao goalkeeper Herrerin trying to desperately put a block in, but failing to do so. It was a great goal to watch and was a treat to the eyes, showing us once again why it is called the beautiful game. Neymar got into the act as well, scoring a goal in the 37th minute, giving Barcelona a strong two goal lead going into the break. There were further chances created by Barcelona but Herrerin was on top of his game and produced some excellent saves.
The second half started off slowly, with both teams not too intent on attacking their opponents. The game slowed down in comparison with the frenetic first half, but the best moment of the game came when Xavi came in place of an injured Iniesta and took over the captaina s armband. This would definitely be Xavia s last game at the Camp Nou in Barca colours, and it was a fantastic sendoff for him. A couple of chances fell to Suarez and Neymar, but both players fluffed their lines. It was down to Messi again to do his thing, and he duly obliged with a goal in the 74th minute, ensuring the game was out of Bilbaoa s hands. Athletic Bilbao did get a consolation goal but it was a little too late to make a difference.
Barcelona already hold the record for the most Copa Del Rey trophies, and they add one more to the collection. In a weeka s time, they will be facing Juventus for the Champions League trophy and a chance to complete a treble for the club.