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Athletic 0-4 Barcelona Player Ratings: De Jong outshines Messi as Barca claim Copa

Barcelona claimed the Copa del Rey on Saturday as they dismantled Athletic Club largely thanks to Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi.

10:21pm on Saturday 17th April 2021
Robin Bairner

Barcelona picked up the Copa del Rey on Saturday thanks to a second-half blitz of goals that gave them a 4-0 win over Athletic Club.

The game was scoreless approaching the hour mark, but Antoine Griezmann’s opener broke open the floodgate, with Frenkie de Jong soon adding a second.

Lionel Messi then chipped in with two more as Barca scored four times in 12 minutes to take the game out of the Basque side’s reach.

But who were the stars?

Athletic Club 0-4 Barcelona: Match Stats, Player Stats, Player Ratings

✔️ Jordi Alba: 8.2

A strong performance down the left by Jordi Alba, who is a player well suited to the 3-5-2 system that Ronald Koeman now has Barcelona playing in.

He was a very active presence down his flank and highlighted his importance to the team with a couple of assists, first to De Jong and then to Messi.

✔️ Lionel Messi: 8.9

It is not often that Lionel Messi is pushed into the shadows, and indeed it has been the little Argentine who has dragged his side through some very dark periods this season.

He was not, however, the decisive force on Saturday as the Catalans picked up the Copa del Rey. Nevertheless, he was once again impressive as he chalked up his 30th goal of the season by putting the icing on the cake with a couple of strikes in quick succession.

Frenkie de Jong: 9.5

The revival of the Netherlands international star continues at a pace, as he showed how effective he can be when placed further up the field. Of course, this is no revelation given his improved displays in recent times, but this was arguably his greatest display since coming to Barcelona in the summer of 2019.

De Jong laid on the opener for Griezmann before scoring himself three minutes later, and then he set up Messi brilliantly in what was a blistering eight-minute spell.

Having had a hand in the first three goals, he deserved his man of the match accolade.

Athletic Club 0-4 Barcelona: Match Stats, Player Stats, Player Ratings

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