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Catalan del ray

Three goals in a devastating nine-minute spell at the start of the second half saw Barcelona to a 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in the King’s Cup final on Wednesday and the first of three possible titles.

sports Updated: May 14, 2009 23:09 IST

Three goals in a devastating nine-minute spell at the start of the second half saw Barcelona to a 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in the King’s Cup final on Wednesday and the first of three possible titles.

Yaya Toure levelled for Barca in the first half before Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Xavi struck after the break to give the club their 25th King's Cup.

The Catalans could wrap up the Primera Liga title this weekend and they face Manchester United in the Champions League final on May 27.

Athletic looked fresher, snapping at Barca all over the pitch, until Toure stepped up to level in spectacular fashion as he advanced out of defence.

The Ivory Coast midfielder went past three Bilbao players in the 31st minute, and from outside the area drilled a low shot inside the near post.

Gradually Barca asserted themselves and as they swarmed round the Bilbao area in the 55th minute it was Messi who struck, firing through a crowd of legs after Gorka Iraizoz could only parry Samuel Eto'o's shot.

Three minutes later, Krkic raced through on a break to score off the far post and with Bilbao reeling Xavi curled a superb freekick over the wall and in off the near post in the 64th.