Messi, Neymar Ensure Enrique Leaves Barca with Copa del Rey
Barcelona 3 Alaves 1
Lionel Messi and Neymar showed their class as Barcelona beat a determined Alaves side 3-1 in the the Copa del Rey final in Madrid on Saturday, the Catlan club’s third straight win in the competition as they bid farewell to coach Luis Enrique on a high.
Messi curled in the opener in the 30th minute from outside the area following clever link up play with Neymar after Alaves, who were playing in their first domestic final, had struck the inside of the post.
The Basque side drew level three minutes later when Theo Hernandez fizzed a spectacular free kick into the top corner although Neymar restored Barca’s lead a minute before half-time, bundling in Andre Gomes’s pass from close range after starting the move with a dazzling run down the left.
Paco Alcacer further stretched Barcelona’s lead two minutes later killing off Alaves’ hopes of a first trophy in their 96-year history and delivering Barca’s Copa del Rey, the ninth trophy of Luis Enrique’s three-year tenure.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 Borussia Dortmund 2
Borussia Dortmund ended a run of three successive DFB-Pokal final defeats with a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who reportedly handed in a transfer request this week, scored his 40th goal of the season from the penalty spot for Dortmund midway through the second half to clinch the club’s fourth German Cup title and first in five years.
Aubameyang also hit the crossbar late on as Dortmund put the defeats to Bayern Munich (twice) and Wolfsburg behind them in a record fourth-in-a-row final appearance.
Dortmund took the lead after just eight minutes when Ousmane Dembele picked up where he had left off with his semi-final winner against Bayern.
The midfielder reached double figures for the season with a left-footed shot from a tight angle.
However, they could not press home their advantage and on the half-hour Frankfurt, appearing in their first cup final for 11 years, equalised through Ante Rebic.
Dortmund replaced Marco Reus and Marcel Schmelzer with Gonzalo Castro and Christian Pulisic at half-time and it was the latter who won the penalty after he was fouled by Lukas Hradecky, allowing Aubameyang to his 40th in 46 matches this season.
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