Barcelona wanted a trophy to ease their Champions League heartache but instead fell to another shocking defeat as Valencia pulled off a thrilling 2-1 victory on Saturday to win the Copa del Rey.
Quest for fifth consecutive triumph, Barca were undone by a relentless and gutsy Valencia side, who hung on after Lionel Messi pulled a goal back to set up a dramatic finish in Seville.
By then, Valencia were already two up, Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo scoring twice in 13 frantic first-half minutes after the latter spurned a golden early chance that could have spared them a nerve-shredding last 17 minutes.
Messi drove the comeback effort and Goncalo Guedes twice should have wrapped it up for Valencia, missing a one-on-one and then an open goal before the final whistle sparked pandemonium.
Valencia’s coach Marcelino, who might have been sacked when his team were four points off relegation in January, raced around the pitch in a frenzy. Barcelona’s players fall to their knees.
Messi admitted on Friday his team had still not recovered from the “hard blow” suffered against Liverpool and certainly, they seemed too easily disheartened here, finding their fight only once it was too late.
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