Valencia complete Barcelona’s miserable end of season run
Valencia knock Catalans off Copa del Rey throne and deny them consecutive doubles
Valencia’s Kevin Gameiro celebrates scoring their first goal in the Copa del Rey Final against Catalan club Barcelona at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville. Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters
Valencia 2 Barcelona 1
Valencia beat Barcelona 2-1 to win the Copa del Rey on Saturday, ending the La Liga champions’ four-year winning streak in the competition and denying them a domestic double.
Goncalo Guedes missed a gilt-edged chance in stoppage-time for Valencia but they held on to win their first major trophy since last lifting the Cup in 2008.
“I’m so happy because for me, my family, it’s incredible,” said Valencia captain Dani Parejo. “A club like Valencia deserves a lot more joy like this. I don’t have the words, it’s incredible. We’ve made history in a really significant year, our centenary year.”
Valencia finished fourth in La Liga after a strong second half of the season, reaching the Europa League semi-finals and ending an impressive campaign with this victory.
By contrast, Barcelona’s campaign collapsed in the last fortnight as they threw away a three-goal Champions League semi-final lead to be eliminated by Liverpool before letting the Cup slip out of their hands.
Barcelona were bidding to lift themselves from their humiliation on Merseyside by securing the ninth domestic double in their history, but despite Messi’s efforts they were over-run by a determined and well-drilled Valencia side.
The Catalans failed to create openings and Rodrigo nodded home the second after Carlos Soler whipped a ball across the face of goal.
Messi struck the post with a delightful outside-of-the-boot effort before slotting home the rebound when Jaume Domenech saved Clement Lenglet’s header for his 51st goal of the season, but it was not enough.