Barcelona sewed up a domestic double by winning the 27th Copa del Rey title of their history with this evening’s 3-1 triumph over Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp.
Twenty minutes were on the clock when Luis Enrique’s men took the lead, and it was a moment of Lionel Messi genius that provided the spark. Receiving the ball on the right wing, the Argentine beat three men, cut back inside a fourth in the box and swept a confident finish home at the near post.
The lead was doubled on 37 minutes as Neymar rounded off a tremendous team move involving Messi and Ivan Rakitic, tapping home after Luis Suarez had drawn the keeper and laid it on a plate for his team-mate.
Bilbao, to their credit, kept plugging away and could have reduced the arrears shortly before the break when Inaki Williams made a strong connection with an excellent raking pass into the box, only for the crossbar to ride to Barcelona’s rescue.
Messi put the game beyond Bilbao’s reach by doubling his personal tally on 74 minutes, stealing in at the near post to prod Dani Alves’ cross into the back of the net, although Williams did give the Basques something to cheer about when his header found the far corner with 10 minutes remaining.