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Copa del Rey final

Athletic Bilbao 1 – Barcelona 3

Two down and one to go! Barcelona followed up their league title with a 1-3 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish cup final, and with the Champions League final coming up next week they are still on track for a historic triple. Although the match took place in the Nou Camp, Barça were designated as the away side, and half of the 100,000 fans made the trip from Bilbao to support their side. The Catalans dominated from the early stages though, Neymar connecting with Messi’s cross to find the net in the tenth minute only for referee Velasco Carballo to incorrectly rule out the strike for offside. Herrerín had to save from Luis Suárez soon afterwards though, and with twenty minutes gone Messi opened the scoring with a shot inside the near post after an amazing run from wide out on the right. Herrerín kept out Neymar and Piqué again soon afterwards, and with ten minutes to go to the break Luis Suárez set up Neymar for a second. A goal from Valverde’s side could have changed things though, and Williams fired a first time volley against the top of the bar shortly before the break. But Messi brought another good stop out of Herrerín with a well struck free kick, and with a quarter of an hour to go Messi made it three after Dani Alves set him up. With their fans behind them however Athletic kept going, and after Williams got one back with a header from Ibai’s cross there was a moment of hope. Ibai even tested Ter Stegen with a long shot, but Xavi (in his last match in the Nou Camp) almost added to the lead near the end with a free kick which hit the upright. A 27 th cup title for Barcelona though, and they go on to Berlin with their morale at a high. (30.05.15)