Barcelona & Bilbao reach Copa del Rey final


Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will contest the Copa del Rey final after both sides progressed over the final hurdle in midweek.

Pep Guardiola's side overcame Valencia at the Nou Camp last night, with goals from Cesc Fabregas and Xavi Hernandez securing a 2-0 victory and 3-1 aggregate win.

The sides were level after the first leg at the Mestalla Stadium, but Arsenal's former captain took just 16 minutes to break the deadlock in Catalonia last night.

Los Che had their chances, but couldn't beat Jose Pinto when the opportunities arose on a night when Unai Emery's side were reduced to ten men - Sofiane Feghouli saw red on 76 minutes for a second bookable offence.

And Barca made their advantage count, as in truth they were good value for the win. Lionel Messi and Fabregas both had shots saved by Alves Carreira Diego, whilst Isaac Cuenca was wasteful with a good opportunity from 12 yards.

Xavi wasn't to make the same mistake on 81 minutes though, with a classic team move ending in the Spanish international firing into the roof of the net. Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Fabregas were all involved in the move.

The result means Barca will contest the final on May 25th, and whilst the venue is yet to be confirmed, initial suggestions are that the Santiago Bernabeu will be given the nod.

Bilbao will be the other contenders after their 6-2 thrashing of third-tier Mirandes, who had upset Villarreal, Espanyol and Racing Santander on their way to the last four.

However, the final dream quickly faded when Los Leones raced into a three-goal lead inside 22 minutes, as goals from Iker Munain, Markel Susaeta and Jon Aurtenetxe effectively ended the tie.

Aitor Blanco gave the visitors hope, but a brace from Fernando Llorente added a gloss to the scoreline. Late goals were traded - one from Blanco and an own goal from Cesar Caneda.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Mirandes can travel back to the Anduva with their heads held high, despite the 8-3 aggregate scoreline.

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