Valencia upsets Messi's Barcelona to win the Copa del Rey

Valencia upset holders Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, denying the Blaugrana a domestic double and fifth cup win in a row.

Kevin Gameiro gave Los Che a deserved advantage after 21 minutes, and Rodrigo punished more poor defending to double the lead before half-time.

Lionel Messi converted from close range to halve the deficit after 73 minutes, but Barcelona's comeback fell short.

The Catalans could have won their fourth domestic double in five years on Saturday after securing the 2018-19 La Liga title in April.

While Valencia may have won the Copa del Rey on Saturday, perhaps the biggest winner wasn't even on the pitch.

Valencia highlighted the need for defensive reinforcements repeatedly, running through a disorganised Blaugrana defence. 

It all started after just a few minutes when Clement Lenglet―one of the worst performers in the 4-0 loss against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals―completely lost Gameiro. Only a superb intervention from Gerard Pique prevented a goal.

Gameiro took full advantage of more dreadful positional play to score the opener, finding acres of space on the edge of the box before sidestepping Jordi Alba and drilling the ball past Jasper Cillessen.

But Lenglet wasn't the only culprit on Saturday, and Rodrigo's goal came as the result of even more poor organisation. The Barcelona defence was a complete mess, falling apart on the big stage for the second time in May. 

Liverpool already exposed the major issues the Blaugrana have at the back, and Los Che served up another reminder that help is sorely needed. A returning and fully healthy Umtiti won't be enough; the Catalans need more.

The season is over for both clubs, with the likes of Cillessen and Nelson Semedo set to feature in the UEFA Nations League finals, starting on June 5, for Holland and Portugal, respectively. Others, including Messi and Philippe Coutinho, will play in the Copa America, which begins on June 14.


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