They were convinced that this way of acting was going to lead them to victory.” This phrase by Marcelino prologues the Asturian coach’s analysis of the Copa del Rey final played on May 25, 2019.
The match held that day between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at the Benito Villamarín in Seville is the subject of a new master class on the channel ‘The Coaches’ Voice in Spanish’. For more than 20 minutes, the video breaks down the keys to that duel, which was the Asturian’s first final from a bench.
The coaching staff had studied Barcelona in depth. They had lost to the Catalan team in the semifinals of the previous Copa edition, and they were not willing to let history repeat itself. The defensive solvency of Valencia in low block and its capacity in offensive transitions were the axes around which the match plan was articulated.
The goals of Gameiro & Rodrigo
After a somewhat hesitant start, Valencia took the lead midway through the first half with Gameiro’s goal. Marcelino explains in the video how Guedes dragged Semedo out of his position and left room for Gayà to climb. The left-back’s cross came at the feet of Gameiro, who beat Cillessen with a hard shot to make it 0-1. Minutes later, in minute 33, it was 0-2. Coquelin leaked a pass to Soler, who beat Alba in the race. Carlos’ center, very tense, was headed into the net by Rodrigo.
Marcelino acknowledges that Messi’s participation (with and without the ball) and his connection with Jordi Alba were the main sources of concern. Valencia controlled Barcelona’s attacks during the first half. The entry of Malcom and Vidal for the second half caused several problems, but curiously Messi’s goal (minute 73) came when Valencia was more established.
In the words of the Asturian coach, the absence of Luis Suárez (injury) facilitated the response to Barcelona’s offensive in search of a draw. Valencia, yes, had very clear chances to score the third in the last moments. With the end of the clash the euphoria was unleashed. “There were many years of work accomplished with something desired: a title,” Marcelino declared to finish.