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Messi double helps Barcelona to Copa del Rey win

Two Lionel Messi goals helped FC Barcelona to a 3-1 win against Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey final, the Azulgrana's last game before the UEFA Champions League decider.

Barcelona won the Copa del Rey to move a step closer to the treble
Barcelona won the Copa del Rey to move a step closer to the treble ©Getty Images

Xavi Hernández bade farewell to the Camp Nou in fitting fashion, helping FC Barcelona to a 3-1 defeat of Athletic Club and a 27th Copa del Rey triumph.

Barcelona produced a first-half masterclass at their home ground, taking the lead thanks to a vintage Lionel Messi goal. The Argentina forward jinked his way past four Athletic players before firing in at the near post. Messi then helped to tee up Neymar for a close-range finish and added his second late on. Iñaki Williams rounded off his impressive debut season by scoring a late consolation for Athletic.

The Basque club's passionate supporters had travelled on mass from Bilbao to Barcelona, painting the Catalan city red and white before the game and then roaring on their club from inside the stadium. However, it soon became clear that this was going to be a night for Luis Enrique's side, Messi opening the scoring after 20 minutes by breezing down the right wing before cutting inside and shooting past Iago Herrerín. Little more than a quarter of an hour later he played a one-two with Ivan Rakitić, allowing the Croatia midfielder to feed Luis Suárez, who put the ball on a plate for Neymar.

Athletic could do little in the second half to prevent their third successive Copa del Rey final defeat by Barça, who struck again on 74 minutes when Messi turned in Daniel Alves' pass. Williams's neat finish gave Athletic's loyal band of followers something to cheer about, but their chants were drowned out by the jubilant cries from Barça's supporters that greeted the final whistle. Xavi, a second-half substitute, concludes his Azulgrana career with the UEFA Champions League final next weekend.