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Messi scores brace as Barcelona thump Athletic in a second-half blaze

Messi scores brace as Barcelona thump Athletic in a second-half blaze

It was complete domination by the Blaugrana from the very first minute of the match, as they were the better team throughout the contest – even though all four of their goals came in the second half of the match.

Barcelona scored four times over the span of 12 minutes in what was an absolute second-half stampede over the club hailing from Bilbao, the first of which was scored by Antoine Griezmann finishing with the forward finishing off a brilliant counter-attacking move.

Messi raced forward and fed Frenkie de Jong, who set up Griezmann for the finish – the Frenchman converted calmly to break the deadlock in the final.

De Jong turned scorer from the provider only three minutes later, when Jordi Alba sprinted down the left wing to deliver a superb cross into the area which was met by de Jong with his head.

Messi got in on the act five minutes later, as the Barca skipper exchanged a couple of quick one-twos with de Jong, before cutting inside on his left foot and curling one into the bottom left corner with ease.

Messi added Barcelona’s fourth and his second of the night four minutes later, when the heavily influential Alba pulled the ball back to Messi at the edge of the area, only for the Barcelona skipper to fire his effort into the same corner – and secure the result for his club.

Antoine Griezmann found the net once again but it was disallowed for offside, as Barcelona had to settle for four goals on the night which gave them their 31st Copa del Rey victory.

It was deserved success for the Catalan club who dominated the game from the first whistle to the last, but it also meant that Bilbao had lost two back to back Copa del Rey finals in consecutive weeks – they also lost to Real Sociedad in the postponed 2020 final last week.

Match Highlights

Post-match celebrations and Copa Del Rey trophy lift