A colossal, stylist, round and resounding Barça ran over a downgraded Athletic from start to finish and buckled their 31st Cup trophy. The Koeman’s tone of authority was extraordinary. An impossible duel for Marcelino’s, who actually died. A naked Athletic before a great version of Barça. A Barça led by Messi in Messi mode and with a chorus in which no one gave a bad note. It was a symphonic match, with every Barcelona player close to the honor roll. A football symposium to re-enthroned Messi’s Barça almost two years later. A corkage on the return of Joan Laporta.
Without consolation for the rojiblancos, withered against Real, overwhelmed against Barça. The Cup, his totemic Cup, has been resisting him for 37 years, when he precisely dispatched Barcelona. Since 2009, the Catalans have denied it four times.
Barça did not delay, who put the tailcoat on the ball from the first blink. One cuddle after another. De Jong, Pedri, Busquets, Messi … Barça round table football, with Athletic cloistered, of flycatchers after Koeman’s.
Widowers without a ball, Marcelino’s did not hit any key, only rolled up and rolled up sleeves. Williams was not in sight, arrested by a marshal Piqué, who barely let him turn to take the track and fly. Nor did Muniain have spotlights, forced to forced labor in front of Mingueza and Dest, the right sidewalk for which Barça had superiority. Athletic was supported by its centrals —Yeray and Iñigo Martínez—. The rojiblanca intention was to leave only air on the sides, but Barça did not abuse the aerial game, which was known to be inferior. With Messi’s scanner, the game can also be articulated by microscopic slits. Barça was so little delayed that five minutes later a braid by Busquets with Messi led to a shot by De Jong at Unai’s right post.
Barça went and went, which only lacked flares near the Basque goalkeeper. Even the balcony of the area, everything was Barça footprints. The ball complied with his dictation, every provision of Messi, every expert opinion of Pedri, every amendment of De Jong … A torment for Athletic, who did not find the float. Not even when Iñigo Martínez lacked a boot number to catch a lateral foul launched by Berenguer. First and only warning from the lions in the first act, a period in which Williams took 40 minutes to get a run.
There were few notices from Barcelona in the goal waiting room. Messi gave them, also Griezmann, unexpected starting passenger ahead of Dembélé. Koeman’s team was missing shrapnel in the area. Athletic had plenty of it on the periphery of its goal, with Dani García as sheriff.
Marcelino noticed the excessive subordination of his people and intervened in the intermission. He lassoed Lekue and removed the limping Muniain. The idea was to block the right wing of the rival attack by which Dest was striking. Berenguer went to that side, with Lekue on the other shore. There was no remedy.
At the end of the truce, Athletic, increasingly smaller, fell a whirlwind. Wounded by all sectors, it could only be entrusted to Unai Simón. By route Dest —Which this time Messi activated as much as comrade Jordi Alba—, a center from the American side was finished off by Griezmann three feet behind Unai, savior with his left foot. Redeemer also in front of a shot with a bad grape from Pedri. And let’s not say before a point-blank claw from Busquets! Again the left leg of the Basque goalkeeper. Marcelino rectified immediately. Berenguer out, come on Vesga. Athletic did not even splash. Barça no longer only governed and cradled the ball. After the break he took out the hammer and Marcelino’s boys were no longer enough to have a jaw.
By the right of his attack, of course, Messi put De Jong in orbit – as outstanding as the captain all night. The Dutchman summoned Griezmann to another fencing duel with Unai, this time defeated by the French. Athletic was still on the canvas when three minutes later, this time down the left path, Alba screwed the ball around De Jong’s head. Luckily, the Dutchman was not known, terminal on this occasion.
The rojiblancos were shaken from all sides. And he was left with an even greater ordeal: the scorer Messi. The 3-0 was a Barça delight. De Jong, in a final where there seemed to be more than one De Jong, attended the Rosario. He ventured into the area, pulled the chain from Yuri and scored the 3-0. Not with a punchline, no. His was a pass to the network in privacy. And it was not all. Another martyrdom for those of San Mamés. Few are the Barcelona parties in which Alba and Messi do not rhyme. It happened for the 4-0, sung by the Argentine. The finishing touch to a major Barça game.
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