Barcelona salvage season with Copa del Rey win against Alaves


Barcelona salvaged an otherwise disappointing season with a 3-1 victory over Alaves in the Copa del Rey final in Luis Enrique’s last match as manager.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Barca after a tense first 30 minutes in which Alaves twice went close. The Argentina international curled home a first-time shot from 20 yards after playing a one-two with Neymar to give his team a 1-0 lead.
But Alaves struck right back, with Theo Hernandez beating Jasper Cillessen with a magnificent free kick from 30 yards away that left the Barca keeper no chance.
Barcelona were soon back in front, with Neymar tapping home from close range to cap a well-worked team move by the Catalans.
And Messi would have one more moment of brilliance before the break, shredding the Alaves defence and somehow picking out a cutting Paco Alcacer, who blasted home past Fernando Pacheco to give Barca a 3-1 lead at the break.
Try as they might, Alaves could not play their way back into the match as Barca were content to sit deep and kill off the final in a largely uneventful second half.
The win will likely take some of the sting out of Barcelona’s failure to secure silverware in both the Champions League and La Liga, with the club set to announce their next manager in the coming week.

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