Copa del Rey Final 208/19: Barcelona 1-2 Valencia - 4 reasons why Barcelona lost the match
The 117th edition of the Copa del Rey final was staged at the Estadio Benito Villamarin and saw Barcelona clash with Valencia, with Valencia running away with a 2-1 victory to win the Copa del Rey title for the eighth time in their history.
Barcelona had been widely tipped to win the match owing to the superiority of its players as well as recent dominance in the Copa del Rey, but in scenes that totally went against pre-match analysis, Valencia put in a dogged performance to deny Barcelona their double dream and hopes for a fifth consecutive cup title.
Only a few weeks ago, the Blaugrana were on course for a unique third treble, but at the conclusion of the 2018/2019 season in Spain, they only have the La Liga title to show for. In this piece, we shall be taking a look at four reasons why Barcelona lost to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.
#4 The absence of key players
Ernesto Valverde entered the match without having the complement of a full squad, as Luis Suarez was ruled out due to a meniscus injury, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen failed to recover in time from a knee injury and Ousmane Dembele had hamstring issues.
It effectively meant that Barcelona took to the field without their only recognized center-forward, while also missing the services of their first choice and one of the best goalkeepers in the world as well as a considerable threat going forward.
In the absence of Suarez and Dembele, the goalscoring burden fell on Lionel Messi and this proved to be too much for even the great Argentine to bear, as he lacked the requisite support in attack.
While none of the two goals conceded could be attributed to any fault from backup goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, the 30-year-old lacked the composure that is a hallmark of ter Stegen's game and also failed to effectively control his defense, being involved in a number of mix-ups with his center-backs.
While the Barcelona squad is replete with a host of world beaters such that the absence of any player (bar Messi) should not be felt, on the night such players failed to hold their own, making the key absences more glaring and this played a crucial role in seeing them get beaten by Valencia.