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Athletic Club v Barcelona Live Commentary, 17/04/2021

FT
0 - 4
ATH
BAR
A. Griezmann (60)
F. de Jong (63)
L. Messi (68)
L. Messi (72)
Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla

Commentary

That's all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
This is Barcelona's 31st Copa del Rey success and their first since 2018. They will now turn their attentions back to LaLiga, as they sit third, but only two points behind Atletico Madrid at the top and they face Getafe next time out. Meanwhile Athletic will look to put their two Copa del Rey final defeats behind them and pick up three points against Real Betis in LaLiga on Wednesday.
Barcelona win the Copa del Rey after a superb 4-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, thanks to four second half goals in the space of 12 minutes. Griezmann broke the deadlock on 60 minutes, before De Jong doubled their lead three minutes later and victory was then rounded off with a brace from Messi. It looked like Barca had a fifth, after Griezmann skipped past Simon and fired the ball into an empty net, but it was ruled out offside. A deserved victory for Barca, who dominated from start to finish.
90' + 2' FULL-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-4 BARCELONA
90' There will be a minimum of two minutes added time played at the end of the second half.
Yuri
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
90' Yuri is booked late on for a challenge on Braithwaite.
O. Dembélé
A. Griezmann
Barcelona
87' Griezmann also heads off the pitch and he has been replaced by Dembele.
M. Braithwaite
Óscar Mingueza
Barcelona
87' Final few changes for Barca now, with Mingueza one of those coming off and he has been replaced by Braithwaite.
86' GOAL RULED OUT! Griezmann thinks he has made it five, after a lovely throughball by Messi to the striker, who races onto the end of it and gets to it ahead of Simon on the edge of the box. The keeper makes sure he doesn’t bring him down, but Griezmann easily rounds him and then cuts inside and passes it into the back of an empty net. However, VAR take a look at it and adjudged that Griezmann was offside when Messi played the pass, so it is ruled out.
84' Not too far away! Athletic whip a corner into the box from the right and Raul Garcia meets it in the middle of the box, but he doesn't get the best of contact, heading it into the ground and it bounces high over the crossbar.
R. Araújo
Piqué
Barcelona
82' The other change sees Pique head off and he has been replaced by Araujo.
Ilaix Moriba
Pedri
Barcelona
81' Barca make a double substitution, with Pedri the first to come off and he has been replaced by Moriba.
80' If this result remains the same, Athletic will have lost two Copa del Rey finals within the space of two weeks, after they were beaten 1-0 by Real Sociedad in last seasons final.
78' Messi has now appeared in 34 different finals with Barcelona, scoring 31 goals in those outings. 
76' We've seen four Barca goals in the space of 12 minutes, they couldn't have wished for a better second half performance. They are close to their 31st Copa del Rey title.
Sergi Roberto
S. Dest
Barcelona
74' Barca have made their first change now, with Dest replaced by Sergi Roberto at right-back.
Jordi Alba
Assist
Barcelona
72' A second assist for Alba now, it comes after he sprints down the left, linking up well with Griezmann, before perfectly feeding Messi.
L. Messi
Goal
Barcelona
72' GOOOAAALLL! Messi gets his second and makes it 4-0! What a second half performance this is from Barca! Alba plays a one-two down the left wing with Griezmann and the left-back then pulls the ball back to Messi on the edge of the box, who fires it towards the bottom left corner of the goal. Simon gets a hand to it, but not enough to push it around the post and it flies into the back of the net.
70' Surely the game is wrapped up for Barca now, they lead 3-0 with 20 minutes left to play and are in complete control. They could go on and score a few more.
F. de Jong
Assist
Barcelona
68' Another assist now for De Jong, both he and Messi showed great skill and movement to open up the space for the third Barca goal.
L. Messi
Goal
Barcelona
68' GOOOAAALLL! Messi gets involved in the goals and makes it 3-0! The Barca skipper races forward after winning the ball back on the halfway line and plays a quick one-two with De Jong, before racing into the box and playing another one-two. However, the angle is too tight for a shot, so he cuts inside onto his left foot with ease and fires the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Yuri
Unai López
Athletic Club
67' Lopez is the final Athletic player to come off and Yuri is his replacement.
Asier Villalibre
Williams
Athletic Club
67' Williams also comes off and he has been replaced by Villalibre.
Unai Núñez
Yeray
Athletic Club
67' Athletic make all of their remaining substitutions now, with Alvarez coming off and he has been replaced by Nunez.
65' Athletic win their first corner of the game after Williams sees his effort from the edge of the box well blocked by De Jong. However, the resulting corner comes to nothing.
Jordi Alba
Assist
Barcelona
63' Alba has been a constant threat for Barca down the left wing and he showed his worth there with an excellent delivery into the box, that De Jong finishes off to make it 2-0.
F. de Jong
Goal
Barcelona
63' GOOOAAALLL! De Jong doubles Barca’s lead and makes it 2-0! That’s two goals in the space of three minutes! He provided the assist for the first goal and has scored the second. Alba sprints down the left wing and delivers a superb low cross into the penalty area and Griezmann can’t quite reach it, so it falls to De Jong, who stoops to head home from just a couple of yards out.
62' It will be interesting to see how Athletic respond now, they need to start pushing forward in search of an equaliser, but this also leaves them open at the back and vulnerable to a second Barca goal.
F. de Jong
Assist
Barcelona
60' De Jong has been excellent today, involved in everything for Barca and he went close himself early on. However, he turned provider this time, drilling the ball into the path of Griezmann, who made no mistakes with the finish.
A. Griezmann
Goal
Barcelona
60' GOOOAAALLL! Barca finally break the deadlock, Griezmann makes it 1-0! They break forward quickly and open up the Athletic defence, with Messi racing forward, before laying it out wide to De Jong on the overlap and he squares it to Griezmann, who pops it into the back of the net from the middle of the box. Lovely move and finish.
58' There is still a lot of football left to be played here and there will surely be a few tired Athletic players out there soon, as they've constantly chased the ball today.
56' These two sides are the most successful in the history of the Copa del Rey, with Barcelona winning it 30 times and Athletic have 23.
Mikel Vesga
Álex Berenguer
Athletic Club
54' Athletic have made another change, with Berenguer the man coming off and he has been replaced by Vesga.
53' ANOTHER SAVE! Simon is keeping Athletic in the game, this time he denies Busquets from close range! Barca take a corner short to create a better angle for a cross into the box, which is flicked on and the falls to Busquets right in front of goal in the six-yard box. However, Simon makes himself as big as possible and makes another excellent save.
52' SAVE! The gaps are starting to open up in the Athletic defence, with Alba finding Griezmann in the box, who then lays it back to Pedri and the midfielder fires a low effort towards the bottom left corner of the net. However, Simon gets down quickly and makes a superb save, tipping it around the post.
50' The second half has started as the first ended, with Barca on top and dominating, pushing forward in search of the opening goal. They were so close a few minutes ago.
48' CHANCE! How did Griezmann not score? Messi does brilliantly, sprinting towards goal, before laying it out wide to Dest on the overlap, who then pulls it back to Griezmann in the six-yard box. The striker slides in and gets a touch on the ball, but Simon rushes out and makes a superb save to deny Barca. It then bounces back off Griezmann and flies inches wide of the post.
46' The second half is under way!
Lekue
Muniain
Athletic Club
46' Athletic have made a substitution ahead of the second half, with Muniain the man coming off and he has been replaced by Inigo Martinez.
Athletic have been forced to sit back and defend, they need to start pushing players forward if they are to test Ter Stegen in the Barca goal, who has been a spectator so far.
It’s goalless at the break between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, despite Barca dominating the entirety of the first half. They have controlled the opening 45 minutes, with De Jong striking the post after just five minutes. However, that is as close as they have come to breaking the deadlock.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-0 BARCELONA
45' There will be a minimum of one minute added time played at the end of the first half.
44' Barca continue to pile on the pressure, there isn't long left for Athletic to hold on now and they will be thankful for the break. It has been a tough first half for them.
42' There isn’t long left to play before the end of the first half, can either side break the deadlock before the half-time whistle?
40' Into the wall! Messi steps it to take a free-kick on the edge of the box, but he doesn't get enough on it and it flies into the wall, who do their job well and clear the danger.
Dani García
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
39' The first yellow card of the game is shown to Dani Garcia, for his late sliding challenge on Messi around 20 yards out.
38' The most recent possession chart has just come in and it shows Barca to have 82 per cent, to Athletic's 18 per cent, which shows their dominance. Athletic will be very happy for it to be goalless at the break.
36' Stoppage in play here as Messi is down injured following a collision with Dani Garcia, as the Athletic midfielder barges into him to stop him in his tracks. The medical team are on the pitch, but he should be fine to continue.
34' Messi is starting to drop slightly deeper in order to get on the ball and influence the game, as Athletic are defending very well at the moment and there aren't any signs of a breakthrough goal.
32' Despite all of their dominance, Simon in the Athletic goal has yet to make a good save to deny Barca the opening goal and they are starting to get frustrated.
30' We’re at the half an hour mark now and it remains goalless between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
28' Athletic need to try and slow things down and just keep the ball for a little bit, they've barely strung more than a couple of passes together and are constantly having to chase the game.
26' Messi almost sneaks through once again! A long ball comes over the top of the Athletic defence, which Mingueza heads down straight into the path of Messi. However, his shot is brilliantly blocked.
25' In three Copa del Rey finals against Athletic Bilbao, Messi has scored four goals and assisted one more while in 40 overall meetings, he has a tally of 26 goals and 7 assists.
23' Raul Garcia and Williams have hardly touched the ball for Athletic, the two forwards have been forced to sit deep and soak up all the Barca pressure, which continues to build.
21' Decent effort! Messi manages to work a little bit of space in the box and he curls an effort towards the near post. However, Simon is equal to it and makes a comfortable save.
20' Another quick move by Barca, with Griezmann trying to get a shot away from the edge of the box. However, Athletic get plenty of players back and make the block.
18' Barca have dominated possession, with over 80 per cent of it in the opening period of the game. Can they make it count and test Simon?
16' There is a good pace to the game so far, with Barca setting the tempo and they are trying to carve open the Athletic defence, with Messi and Busquets already finding a couple of throughballs.
14' The latest LaLiga meeting between these two sides saw Barcelona come out on top, claiming a 2-1 victory back in January.
12' CLOSE! Athletic almost score with their first opportunity of the game! A deep free-kick is whipped into the penalty area and Martinez gets away from his marker and throws himself at the ball, getting a touch on it. However, he can't quite turn it towards goal and it flies wide of the Barca net.
11' CHANCE! Lovely link up play between Messi and Griezmann, with the skipper playing a superb ball in behind to Griezmann deep inside the box and he should shoot at goal himself, albeit from a tight angle. However, he opts to play it back to Messi who was sprinting into the box, but his effort is blocked behind for a corner.
9' Barca look eager to get an early goal here, they are forcing their opponents to get everyone back behind the ball as they are camped inside the final third.
7' Not too far away! Dest cuts inside from the right wing and drills a low shot towards the bottom right corner of the net. However, he just drags his shot wide.
5' OFF THE POST! Messi makes a superb run in behind the Athletic defence and he is picked out superbly by Busquets. The angle is too tight for Messi to shoot at goal himself, so instead he flicks it back to De Jong, who tries to slide the ball into the far left corner of the net. However, he strikes the post. So close!
4' Good move! Busquets drills the ball into the feet of De Jong on the edge of the box, who flicks it to Messi, he then quickly spins and passes to Alba out wide, who plays it back into the penalty arae looking for Griezmann. However, the offside flag goes up and Athletic have a free-kick.
3' It's all Barca in the opening few minutes of the game, they are pushing forward in numbers and have Athletic penned inside their own half.
1' We're under way!
The teams are out on the pitch and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all of the match action!
Meanwhile Ronald Koeman has made just two changes to his starting XI, with Araujo and Dembele missing out and they have been replaced by Pique and Griezmann.
Athletic have made eight changes to their side that drew 0-0 with Alaves last weekend, with only Simon, Balenziaga and Unai Lopez keeping their places in the starting line-up.
BARCELONA SUBS: Ronald Araujo, Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele, Trincao, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Inaki Pena, Ilaix Moriba, Arnau Tenas.
BARCELONA (3-1-4-2): Marc-Andre Ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet; Sergio Busquets; Sergino Dest, Frenkie De Jong, Pedri, Jordi Alba; Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann
ATHLETIC BILBAO SUBS: Jon Morcillo, Ander Capa, Asier Villalibre, Unai Nunez, Unai Vencedor, Jokin Ezkieta, Yuri, Inigo Lekue, Mikel Vesga.
ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-4-2): Unai Simon; Oscar De Marcos, Yeray Alvarez, Inigo Martinez, Mikel Balenziaga; Alex Berenguer, Unai Lopez, Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain; Raul García, Inaki Williams.
Athletic are looking for their first Copa Del Rey title since 1984, while Barcelona last won this competition back in 2018. Athletic have failed to win any of their last five games, however, they have only suffered one defeat and the rest have been draws, to see them sit 11th in LaLiga. Meanwhile Barcelona are third, following their El Clasico defeat against Real Madrid last weekend.
Due to the COVID pandemic, last years Copa del Rey final was played just a couple of weeks ago and it featured Athletic Bilbao. However, they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Real Sociedad. Athletic made it to the 2021 final by beating Levante 3-2 on aggregate. Meanwhile Barcelona beat Sevilla 3-2 over two legs. 
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona.