Messi Shines as Barca Seal Copa Del Rey
Barcelona 3 Alaves 1: Messi magic secures Luis Enrique parting gift
Lionel Messi ensured Luis Enrique’s Barcelona reign ended with a trophy as he inspired a third consecutive Copa del Rey title with a 3-1 final win over Alaves.
Having scraped past Atleti 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals in February, with Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez both sent off, Barca looked in for a similarly nervy contest as Alaves started well and Theo Hernandez then equalised Messi’s opener.
The Basque side had stunned Barca with a 2-1 league success at Camp Nou in September, but this game threatened to bear greater resemblance to a 6-0 away triumph in the reverse fixture as Neymar scored the next goal and Messi teed up Paco Alcacer to put Barca out of sight.
Although Alaves kept the score down after the break, they rarely looked likely to trouble the commanding lead built by Messi and Barca, who will now turn their focus to a board meeting on Monday, after which the club are set to announce Luis Enrique’s replacement.