When FC Barcelona won the Cup against Athletic Bilbao, the strong-willed Barça put on the incredible passing relay and punished the Basques’ passive approach. Dedication, speed, determination – Barça had the mentality of a champion in the Copa final. The hot spots for the cup final.

Athletics defensive tactics failed.

Since winning the 2018/19 championship in the Olympic Stadium in Seville on Saturday evening, FC Barcelona won their first title. From the start, the Blaugrana came across a highly defensive Athletic Club, whose players hardly got a chance on the offensive. The team of coach Marcelino withdrew completely from possession of Barça as soon as the first line of defence consisting of Iñaki Williams and Raul Garcia was outplayed. Then Los Leones formed two back four in front of their own penalty area to stand between the Blaugrana and their own goal with as many players as possible.

The Basques clearly focused on spatial coverage. The plan was to let the Catalans really play. In the first half, Sergiño Dest and Jordi Alba were still involved in direct duels on the flank, which meant that the two strong wingers often only had the run to the baseline. Still, the consistency in the defence game waned over time.

But in the centre, too, the consequence of the Athletics space coverage diminished in the second round. In the second half, the Basque backing team noticed that they were overwhelmed by the Catalans’ quick switching moments. Completely disorganized, Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong were allowed to take the lead, respectively, to make Barças 2-0. Even in the 68th minute, there was no red-white player in a duel – the 3-0. The final preliminary decision was the result.

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April 21, 2021