FC Barcelona – Valencia: Inept Barcelona Put To Bed By Effective Valencia Counterattacks (1-2)
Barcelona’s poor mid-pitch press combined with Valencia’s ruthlessness gave Marcelino’s side an early lead. Barcelona’s lack of attacking output allowed them to keep it. A late glimmer of hope from Messi was ultimately quashed as Barcelona stumbled out of another trophy.
Tactical analysis and match report by Tom Quartly.
The Benito Villamarín was the elected venue for the last Spanish game of the season, the final of the Copa del Rey. It saw the LaLiga champions Barcelona face off against fourth-placed Valencia. As for form, it is fair to say that Barcelona took their foot off the gas when they were confirmed champions back in April, beating the impressive Getafe at the Camp Nou but drawing to Eibar away at the Ipurua Municipal to cap off their season. A win tonight meant Barcelona would be the first team to win the Copa del Rey five years in a row. Dominant.
On the other hand, Valencia bounced back from the Europa League hammering they took against Arsenal by beating Deportivo Alavés 3-1. They then finished their season away at Real Valladolid, winning 2-0; that confirmed Champions League football for them next season and set up this tie perfectly. All season long, they have had one of the most impressive defenses of the league, which has come to full fruition in recent months.
Barcelona began the game in a 4-1-4-1 shape with Sergio Busquets sat in the hole between the defense and . . .