Messi helps Barca lift their 29th King's Cup

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-28 09:27:11|Editor: Mengjie
Video PlayerClose

MADRID, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Leo Messi produced yet another stunning performance to steer FC Barcelona to their 29th King's Cup title on Saturday night.

The Argentinean scored the first goal of the game and helped set up Barca's second and third of their 3-1 win against a brave Deportivo Alaves to ensure that Luis Enrique had the perfect send off after three seasons as Barca coach.

With Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto both injured, Luis Enrique opted to play Paco Alcacer in attack and Javier Mascherano at right back.

Alcacer nodded a header just wide after five minutes, but Mascherano' s game ended before the tenth minute following a clash of heads with Marcos Llorente which left him bleeding badly from a head cut and he was replaced by Andre Gomes, although it was possibly his fall damaging a knee rather than the cut which was the reason for the change.

As expected Alaves looked to defend effectively while trying to hit Barca on the break and the first half produced a fascinating contrast in styles.

Ibai Gomez hit the Barca post in the 27th minute with a shot which then ran agonizingly along the goal-line before bouncing clear, while at the other end Fernando Pacheco reacted well to stop a deflected shot from Andres Iniesta.

He was helpless moments later when Messi opened the scoring with a curling shot from the edge of the area after exchanging passes with Neymar to net his 52nd goal of the campaign in all competitions.

The lead lasted last than three minutes before Theo Hernandez equalized with a free kick which Barca keeper Jasper Cillessen maybe could have done more to stop.

Both sides saw chances go close but Barca retook the lead on the stroke of halftime as Messi and Gomes combined for Neymar to score from close range.

There was still time before the break for Barca to score a third as Messi again produced a magical run to set up Alcacer to hit the ball across the despairing Pacheco and tip the game decisively Barca's way.

Messi took the helm again four minutes after the break and only a fine save from Pacheco denied Alcacer his second of the game following another fine pass from the Argentinean.

Barca looked to control the game in the second half against a rival who refused to give up and the game got heated, especially as Messi and Ruben Soriano briefly squared up after the latter pushed Neymar to the ground.

All that was left was for Aleix Vidal to make his return from injury and the game was complete for Barca as Barca lifted the cup for the third consecutive season.

As a postscript to the Cup final, Barca's win means Athletic Club Bilbao, who finished seventh on the Liga Santander qualify for next season's Europa League.