Marvellous Messi leads Barcelona to Cup final triumph

A magical Lionel Messi goal, the first of a personal double, led treble-chasing Barcelona to a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Kingand’s Cup final.
The Argentine skipped superbly past four players in a mazy run after 20 minutes before shooting venemously into the bottom corner of the net beyond keeper Iago Herrerin to claim his 33rd goal in his 50th appearance for Barca in the competition. Messi has been in top form in the second half of the season and again provided the inspiration for his team who went 2-0 up when Brazilian Neymar slotted the ball into an open goal having been set up by Uruguayand’s Luis Suarez in the 36th minute. With the Bilbao defense dozing, Messi nipped in to clip home a Dani Alves cross after 74 minutes. A flicked Inaki Williams header gave the Basque side a consolation strike with 10 minutes to go before tempers frayed following some showmanship and play-acting from Neymar.
h2 PSG lands unique trebleh2 Paris St. Germain achieved a unique domestic treble when Edinson Cavaniand”s goal secured a 1-0 French Cup final victory over Ligue 2 team AJ Auxerre. Cavani headed home in the 65th minute to hand PSG their third trophy of the season, adding to their Ligue 1 and League Cup triumphs. It was the capital cluband”s ninth French Cup title and moves them within one of the record held by bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille. PSG were without the suspended Javier Pastore and the Argentine playmaker was missed as Laurent Blancand’s side looked short of ideas at a packed Stade de France. Blanc decided to pick Brazil center back Thiago Silva, who had been doubtful with a thigh injury, but his players were not at their best and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a pale shadow of the brilliant forward he can Sherwood
h2Wolfsburg wins first Cuph2 VfL Wolfsburg scored three times in 16 minutes to come back from a goal down to beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 and land their first German Cup final win, a fitting coronation after a hugely successful season. The Wolves, who finished second in the Bundesliga, rallied after Dortmund had taken a fifth-minute lead on a sun-drenched day at the Olympic Stadium, venue of this weekand’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus. and”It was a great game for us,and” goalscoring midfielder Kevin De Bruyne told ARD television. and”We struggled in the first 20 minutes but after that we played great.and” De Bruyne and his colleagues paid tribute to teammate Junior Malanda, who died in a car crash in January, with his number printed on every Wolfsburg playerand’s shirt.
h2 Arsenal record FA Cup winh2 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be excused if he felt like singing a verse of and”weand’ve won our trophy backand” after his team retained the FA Cup with a 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa in the final at Wembley. The 65-year-old Frenchman is now the most successful FA Cup manager of modern times having led the Gunners to a 12th triumph, a record for footballand’s oldest knockout competition. and”I am very proud of that because if it has not been done it shows that it is not easy,and” Wenger told reporters. and”I have managed in seven finals and we have won six. I am very proud of that.and” Theo Walcott, preferred to Olivier Giroud in attack after scoring a Premier League hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, fired Arsenal in front before halftime. Alexis Sanchez added a second after the break with a thumping shot that swerved one way and then the other before defender Per Mertesacker and substitute Olivier Giroud completed a comfortable victory.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman