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There's a pretty familiar trope when Barcelona are in what we used to call "tiki-taka" mode and are racking up possession dominance north of 60% per game. If they score, the knee-jerk reaction is to praise. But if they don't, they're fools for "trying to pass it into the back of the net" and "not having a go."

Barcelona's Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao looked to be heading towards the latter in a scoreless first half, before reverting to the former after the break as Ronald Koeman's crew rolled to a 4-0 victory. And, in fact, that possession represents two sides of the same coin.

Oh, and then there was Lionel Messi. He bagged two, his first a thing of beauty. It came from one of those vintage runs where he plays a one-two with a teammate (this time, Frenkie de Jong) with uncanny precision, accelerates into space and buries it. His second was courtesy of his old partner in sublime, Jordi Alba.


Results elsewhere mean Koeman now has a game in hand and a five-point deficit to make up in La Liga's title race, but more than that, he has a side that, while far from perfect, is clicking and brimming with confidence. Even Antoine Griezmann -- who lined up as a center-forward alongside Messi, a role he was supposedly unable to play -- looked good in opening the scoring, while De Jong reminded us just why he remains one of the best all-rounders in the game.

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