Valverde: Barca were determined to win CopaApril 23, 2018
Ernesto Valverde has said his Barcelona side were determined to win the Copa del Rey final, beating Sevilla 5-0 on Saturday evening.
The La Liga leaders took less than quarter of an hour to open the scoring with a goal that was the definition of route one. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen set Philippe Coutinho free with a long punt up field with the Brazilian squaring to Luis Suarez to tap Barcelona into the lead.
Steven Nzonzi spurned a good chance when he fluffed his lines from Jesus Navas’ pass and the Andalucians were made to pay when moments after Andres Iniesta’s deflected shot struck the bar, Lionel Messi made it two.
Jordi Alba and Iniesta played a one-two on the left of the box and when Navas failed to clear, Alba backheeled the ball to Messi to slam high into the roof of the net.
Suarez added his second and Barca’s third five minutes before half time when he raced onto Messi’s through ball before slotting coolly beyond David Soria.
Andres Iniesta was playing his last ever cup final for Barcelona with the club captain set for a move to Chongqing Dangdai Lifan in the Chinese Super League at the end of the season and it was he who added number four.
After playing the ball to Messi, the midfielder continued his run into the box onto the end of Messi’s pass before feinting to pass wrong-footing Soria allowing him to fire the ball into the net.
Suarez then dinked the ball through to Coutinho who found the back of the net but the referee awarded a penalty to Barca instead due to a handball by Clement Lenglet in the build up.
Lionel Messi left penalty duties to the former Liverpool man on this occasion and he made no mistake as he sent Soria the wrong way from the spot.
When you lose with a big team, it’s always a disaster. I knew what I was signing up for,” Valverde told reporters.
“I feel good. We were all a bit anxious to redeem ourselves, not only me but also the players and the club.
“We came out with great determination, and a great game was the outcome. Sevilla threatened to come back after each goal, but we kept growing.
“When you imagine a Final, you imagine it to go like that. You imagine everything goes well, that you dominate and enjoy it.”