Barcelona ran away with the Copa del Rey final in Seville after four goals in a 12 minute spell in the second half. Here’s all the reactions from the celebrations afterwards:
After dominating the first half in every sense of the word, Barcelona would have been frustrated that the score was 0-0 at half time. Frenkie de Jong hit the post from close range. Athletic Bilbao also offered next to no threat on the counter attack, also thanks to an extremely focused Gerard Pique at the back who kept reading every ball.
The ice was broken 15 minutes into the second half when Griezmann put away a Frenkie de Jong cross. Just two minutes later the Dutchman added the 2nd himself with a lovely diving header from a Jordi Alba cross from the left.
The third came from the little big Argentinian himself Picking up the ball on the halfway line, playing a one two with Frenkie de Jong, who does brilliantly. Messi skips past half the Basque country before he passes the ball into the bottom left corner.
Four goals in 12 minutes mean Barcelona are Copa del Rey champions for the 31st time. Previous Copa del Rey holders, Real Sociedad held the title for roughly 14 days after the game had been postponed an entire year due to the pandemic. The loser of that final? Athletic Club. Meaning that this is Athletic’s second Copa del Rey final loss in no more than two weeks.
Pique: “Now we have to win the league”
After the game, Pique stated that he was very happy with the title, but that the teams objective is now to take home the league title. Barcelona currently sit third in La Liga, 2 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and one behind Real Madrid. With eight games to go, Barcelona still have every chance of taking home a domestic double.
The center back said: “Now we have to go on and go for the League, to end the season with a league and cup double wouldn’t be bad at all,
“It has been a difficult year. It’s like life, sometimes you fall down and you have to get back up. Today is a good example of how the team is playing. I am very happy, for the older players, but also for the youngsters, who have shown that they can play. I’m also happy for the new board of directors, with Joan Laporta , who has come in with high spirits. It’s like we’ve done a ‘reset’.”
Koeman: “We were very focused”
For Ronald Koeman the key was “how we went out onto the pitch, very focused and very good with the ball, which wore down our opponents a lot and that became evident in the second half. We played better than in the Super Cup ”.
“I didn’t have to think about the tactics because the team has been playing with three center backs for some time now. Three center backs is also a good system against Athletic’s two forwards.
On his own future, The Dutchman said: “That’s not in my hands. All i know is that I have one year left on my contract. All i know is that to be a Barça coach you have to win trophies.”
“Koeman also added that being the Barcelona coach goes beyond just the job. I’m a Barcelona fan, and have been for many years,” he said. “My one wish is to have fans back in the stadium. These players have shown tremendous hunger. It’s also shown that we have players who are experienced in playing big finals.”
“People can see that there’s been progress since day one. The young players who played this final are the future. We are not at the end of the tunnel, we will continue to work.”
Messi: “Let’s go for the league”
“It was a very tough tournament. We struggled in many of the games. It’s always nice to lift a title. I’m very happy for this group. It is very special to be the captain of this club. The club where I’ve been all my life. It’s a very special Cup”
“It is unusual to not be able to celebrate this with fans and family. It was a difficult year for us and to be able to celebrate this title and challenge for La Liga is very important. For us it’s also a season of transition, with many young players. We’ll take this title and there’s stil a lot to play for in the league.”
About the match itself, Messi said: “We had patience with the ball, and in the second half Athletic were tired, we switched gear and the goals came”
“Our players needed this. We came here wanting to win, and we’ve started winning. I’m very happy for the players, for the coaching staff and for our fans”
“We wanted to win. I was down in the dressing room and they are very happy. They deserve it. I hope it will be the first of many. Congratulate the players, the technical staff …. It was very enjoyable. We played a great game. Big respect for Athletic, who endured the first half, but our team is a football machine. I am very happy for everyone.”
Laporta was also asked about Leo Messi’s future. Laporta said: “Leo loves Barça and Barça loves him. He’s once again shown that he’s the best in the world. He wants to stay and we will do everything in our power to make sure he stays.”
Jordi Alba had an exchange with former Barcelona wonderboy Bojan Krkic, who was on punditry duty for DAZN for the night.
“At the beginning of the year nobody betted on us. This Cup has cost a lot. We tried to dominate and we did that. In the second half we created chances a lot easier.”
Alba was also asked about Messi and his future:
“It is his decision. When he has to say something, he will. . He is a unique player, committed 100% to the club. His hunger is contagious. I hope he can stay here for longer.”
“I will save everything from this final for my family. And for me, I hope it will be the first of many. I am very happy to win my first title with Barça. I hope it will be the first of many.
I’m proud of the team and the work we’ve done. It’s time to enjoy it.”