19 June 2011. Just under six years ago to the day, Xavi Llorens took his place in the dugout at Las Rozas. Vicky Losada, Olga Garcia, Marta Unzue, Laura Rafols and Melanie Serrano were all in the FC Barcelona Women team on that occasion as the Catalan club got a golden period underway by winning its second Copa de la Reina title. Now history has come full circle, with Las Azulgranas – including the aforementioned players – bidding their coach a fitting farewell by being crowned Copa de la Reina champions once again with a 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the final.
It was an encounter between the two outstanding teams of the season, cup holders and Liga Iberdrola winners Atletico against the side that pushed them all the way, and a repeat of the 2016 final. It was also Llorens's last game in the Barça hotseat and his charges sent him on his way with arguably their finest performance of the last two years, saving their best for last.
Barça threatened three times in the opening 15 minutes, but did not yet have their scoring boots on. Patricia Guijarro was the first to strike, before Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso also let fly, but Lola Gallardo was alert to the danger and thwarted these early attempts.
Come the half-hour mark and the match could have swung in Atleti's favour. The referee pointed to the spot and up stepped Sonia Bermudez, but she ballooned her penalty over the bar. Despite that disappointment, Las Rojiblancas had come to life and forced Sandra Paños into action on several occasions. However, they were to pay for their profligacy when Jenni became their tormentor-in-chief, eluding a number of defenders in the box and breaking the deadlock before half-time.
Right after the restart, Jenni was at it again, doubling the scoreline. Bermudez made amends for her penalty miss by reducing the deficit with half an hour to go, but there was to be no grandstand finish: 10 minutes later, Alexia added to her collection of cup-final goals, before Aitana Bonmati rounded off the scoring on 83'.
After a trophyless 2015/16, Barcelona have concluded 2016/17 by hoisting the Copa de la Reina for the fifth time. In the process, they have put the perfect seal on Llorens's tenure, which ends after four league titles (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and four cup triumphs to match (2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017).
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