Published 21/04/2018 at 13:35 GMT | Updated 22/04/2018 at 08:29 GMT
Barcelona lifted the Copa del Rey for the fourth successive season, thumping Sevilla 5-0 in a final lit up by Andres Iniesta in what will likely be his final cup final appearance for the club.
The Catalans have endured a difficult spell since crashing out of the Champions League to Roma, with Ernesto Valverde facing intense criticism, but this was a demonstration of Barca at their very best. Sevilla simply had no answer for what they faced.
From the first whistle to the last, Barcelona were on top, with Luis Suarez opening the scoring after 14 minutes, finishing from close range after Philippe Coutinho’s cross. Lionel Messi added a second on the half-hour mark, lifting a finish high into the roof of the net from a Jordi Alba backheel at the byline.
It was three before the half time interval when Messi and Suarez linked up, with the latter finding the bottom corner of the net from about 10 yards out. Andres Iniesta added a fourth after the break, with Philippe Coutinho scoring Barcelona’s fifth of the match from the penalty spot. This was a display of strength from Barca.
Luis Suarez - Sevilla-Barcelona - Copa del Rey 2017/2018 - Getty Images
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Is a league and cup double enough for Ernesto Valverde?
This match was preceded by speculation that Valverde could be sacked in the event of Barcelona losing to Sevilla. Of course, the Catalans turned in one of their best performances of the season to lift the Copa del Rey, meaning Barca will finish the season with a double. But will that be enough to satisfy those who believe Valverde should leave at the end of the campaign? Will he ever recover from that Champions League collapse to Roma?
MAN OF THE MATCH - Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
This will be remembered as the Iniesta final. In what will most likely be his last cup final appearance as a Barcelona player, the Spanish legend put on a show. He was the man pulling the strings from deep, also finding a goal to cap his performance with. It seems a waste that Iniesta will be heading to China when he can still play at this level, but he will leave Barcelona having left them with countless memories, this being one of them.
Andres Iniesta célébré par ses coéquipiers en finale de la Coupe du Roi.
14’ GOAL! Sevilla 0-1 Barcelona: Barcelona have taken the lead! Soria retreated allowing Coutinho to sprint through on goal after a long ball over the top. Coutinho squares the cross for Suarez in the middle who finishes into the empty net from close range.
29’ INIESTA OFF THE BAR! Inches away from a second goal for Barcelona. Iniesta took the strike from the edge of the box - it appeared to take a deflection off Coutinho - and came off the underside of the bar!
31’ GOAL! Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona: It's that connection again - Alba and Messi! Alba got to the byline and backheeled a pass to Messi, who made no mistake in lifting a finish into the roof of the net from about eight yards out! Barca might be out of sight already.
34’ MESSI WAS ONSIDE! Sevilla have just got away with one. Messi was onside as he was threaded clean through on goal, but the linesman stuck his flag up. The Argentine timed his run well!
40’ GOAL! Sevilla 0-3 Barcelona: Barcelona are completely destroying Sevilla here! They have a third in the first half and that's surely game over! Suarez plays a one-two with Messi before sticking the ball in the bottom corner.
53’ GOAL! Sevilla 0-4 Barcelona: He's scored in what will likely be his last appearance in a cup final for Barcelona! Iniesta is slotted in by Messi and he rounds the goalkeeper and finishes into the empty net from a tight angle!
57’ HOW DIDN'T THAT GO IN?! That was very nearly five for Barcelona. Soria made the initial save from the header, then stopped Umtiti from finding the net from close range. Yikes!
65’ SANDRO SHOULD HAVE SCORED! That was the chance for Sevilla to at least get on the board. Sandro surged in behind his former team, but he shoots straight at Cillessen. Should have done better.
68’ PENALTY KICK TO BARCELONA! Lenglet handles the ball in the box, with the referee pointing to the spot, despite Coutinho finishing the play. Should Manzano have played advantage?
69’ GOAL! Sevilla 0-5 Barcelona: It's five for Barcelona! Coutinho stuck away the chance before the whistle was blown for a penalty, and so it's the Brazilian who steps up to the mark and tucks away the spot kick, sending Soria the wrong way.
77’ OFF THE LINE! Sevilla come close to getting a consolation goal, with Sarabia heading towards goal after a cross from the right, but Pique was on hand to clear from underneath his own crossbar.
88’ STANDING OVATION! The whole Metropolitano, even the Sevilla fans, stand up to applaud one of the greatest Spanish players ever off the pitch. This will likely be his last cup final appearance for Iniesta at Barca.
Lionel Messi became the second player in Copa del Rey history to score in five different finals (six goals). The first player to achieve this feat was Telmo Zarra between 1942 and 1950 (eight goals).
Barcelona became the first team to score five goals in a Copa del Rey Final since Real Madrid scored six against Castilla in 1979/80.