Barcelona have reached their 34th Copa del Rey final this May after beating Real Mallorca 3-1 on aggregate following last night’s 1-1 second leg draw.
It will also be the Blaugrana’s first final in 11 years and their coach, Pep Guardiola was delighted to have ended their barren run.
“We deserved to be in the final and I hope that this will help the team recover from our slump. The fans deserve it but it wasn’t an easy game and I have to congratulate Mallorca for that,” he said.
“The windy conditions made it a real struggle and it was not an easy game. But then again, nothing is easy and it is necessary to keep improving because to reach the final, you have to overcome these difficult moments,” he added.
Guardiola admitted that Lionel Messi’s introduction into the encounter gave his side an extra spark.
“We didn’t play with much fluidity and we didn’t create a lot of chances, although we came back out stronger in the second half. The truth is that Mallorca’s penalty [which was saved] changed everything,” he acknowledged.
“Messi’s entrance gave the team more dynamism, although it’s also worth remembering that [Andres] Iniesta had a clear chance on goal in the first minute which could have killed off the tie.”
Despite booking a date with Athletic Bilbao in the final on May 15 in Valencia, Barca have still yet to win a game in their last five competitive outings, but Guardiola believes that reaching the final will give his players a boost.
“There’s no better victory than to qualify for a final. And this is going to be a wonderful final against a rival like Athletic, who are a cup expert. We must build on this and I hope that we do not stop here,” the coach added.