MADRID (REUTERS) - Unstoppable duo Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona thrash Sevilla 5-0 to win the King’s Cup final for the fourth consecutive season on Saturday (April 21) as they close in on a likely domestic double.
Luis Suarez struck twice in the first half for the Catalans as they won the competition for a record 30th time. However, it was Iniesta and Messi who pulled all the strings as the La Liga leaders blew away Vincenzo Montella’s stunned side.
Philippe Coutinho set up Suarez for the opening goal in the 14th minute and Barcelona dominated the rest of the game. The result goes some way to make up for their humiliating Champions League quarter-final elimination by AS Roma earlier in April as Barca completed the first step of a league and cup double.
Messi slammed home the second after good work from Jordi Alba with Suarez adding another, before Iniesta netted from a tight angle. Coutinho added a fifth from the penalty spot to complete the rout.
Both Barcelona and Sevilla fans sang Iniesta’s name when he was substituted in the final stages, with the chants echoing around the Wanda Metropolitano stadium until after the final whistle.
The veteran midfielder is considering a move to the Chinese Super League and this could be his last cup final for Barcelona – and he made sure it was one to remember.
With Iniesta leading the way, Barca came flying out of the blocks and moved ahead after a long ball from goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen found Coutinho deep in opposition territory.
The Brazilian playmaker squared for Suarez to tap home and end his run of bad luck in King’s Cup finals, having sustained an injury when Barcelona won it in 2016 and then missed 2017’s edition through suspension.
Sevilla rallied but after a couple of half-chances Barcelona doubled their lead when Iniesta sent Alba flying down the left. The Spaniard backheeled the ball into Messi’s path and the Argentine fired in.
Messi then created the third for Suarez with a sublime through-ball that sent the Uruguayan charging in on the helpless David Soria’s goal to finish coolly.
Cillessen denied former Barcelona striker Sandro Ramirez in the second half, with Messi teeing up Iniesta to score as a potential moment to take with him if he does depart.
Coutinho’s penalty after Clement Lenglet handled the ball in the area helped Ernesto Valverde’s side finish emphatically and they were soon able to celebrate with the cup which had their name on it from the start – and recently always seems to.