Spanish Copa del Rey
Ath Bilbao1Barcelona3

Athletic Bilbao 1-3 Barcelona

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi (centre), Neymar and Luis Suarez have scored 119 goals for Barca this season

Lionel Messi scored an outrageous solo goal as La Liga champions Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao to win the Copa del Rey and edge closer to the treble.

The four-time world player of the year lit up the Nou Camp when he evaded numerous challenges on the right wing and then surged into the area before firing home a firm, low shot.

Neymar tapped in his 38th goal this campaign, before Messi scored his 58th with the outside of his boot.

Inaki Williams headed in late on.

That effort in the 79th minute was a small blip in an otherwise superb performance by Luis Enrique's side at their home, the Nou Camp.

A repeat display against Juventus in next week's Champions League final will almost certainly see them complete their second ever continental treble, having become the first La Liga side to do so in 2009.

On Saturday there were many fantastic moments of Barca interplay, but the highlight of the match, and maybe the Spanish season, involved just one player - Messi.

The 27-year-old Argentina forward started on the right and surrounded by Athletic players in the lead up to the opening goal, but managed to squeeze through a gap, sprint into the box, shift the ball past one more defender before striking a shot low past goalkeeper Iago Herrerin.

"Leo is spectacular, he is a star," said Neymar.

"For me he is the best in the world and it is an honour to be part of this team with players of such quality."

If that was an individual goal of the highest standard, then Neymar's was a team goal of equal quality.

Quick passing around the area between Messi and Ivan Rakitic ended with Luis Suarez squaring the ball to Neymar to slot in. It was another goal for the Brazilian in what has been a superb second season at Barcelona.

Messi scored his second of the night and his 58th this season with a stunning close-range finish after the break which meant he, Suarez and Neymar have now scored 120 goals in all competitions for the Catalan club this campaign.

Barca took a more relaxed approach in the last 15 minutes, and Athletic - 23-time winners of the competition - made the most of their opportunity when Williams headed in from six yards out.

Xavi came on as a late substitute in his final appearance for Barcelona at the Nou Camp. And the Spaniard, who will be ending a 17-year association, almost scored a fourth when his brilliant free-kick struck the post.

Line-ups

Ath Bilbao

  • 13Herrerín Buisán
  • 12Bustinza Martínez
  • 16Etxeita
  • 4Laporte
  • 24BalenziagaBooked at 58mins
  • 6San José
  • 7Etxebarria UrkiagaSubstituted forGómezat 75'minutes
  • 15IraolaBooked at 43minsSubstituted forSusaetaat 58'minutes
  • 17Rico MorenoSubstituted forIturraspeat 74'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 30WilliamsBooked at 67mins
  • 20Aduriz

Substitutes

  • 1Iraizoz
  • 8Iturraspe
  • 9Sola Clemente
  • 11Gómez
  • 14Susaeta
  • 18Gurpegi
  • 23Aketxe

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 22Dani Alves
  • 3PiquéBooked at 42mins
  • 14Mascherano
  • 18AlbaSubstituted forMathieuat 77'minutes
  • 4Rakitic
  • 5BusquetsBooked at 90mins
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forXaviat 56'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9L SuárezSubstituted forPedroat 78'minutes
  • 11NeymarBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 6Xavi
  • 7Pedro
  • 12Rafinha
  • 13Bravo
  • 15Bartra
  • 21Adriano
  • 24Mathieu
Referee:
Carlos Velasco Carballo
Attendance:
99,354

Match Stats

Home TeamAth BilbaoAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home27%
Away73%
Shots
Home8
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home29
Away12

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