The Reuters news agency called it an “epic comeback”: The FC Barcelona has fought its way into the final of the Spanish soccer cup competition Copa del Rey. The team around superstar Lionel Messi won their home game 3-0 (2-0, 1-0) after overtime against the FC Sevilla.
The Catalans made up for the 2-0 first leg in Andalusia in a particularly gripping way.
After the early lead by Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé in the twelfth minute – the Frenchman hit the corner almost from a standing position from around 20 meters away – threatened to equalize from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute. One hit and the team would have been as good as out. But goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen stopped the attempt by Seville’s Lucas Ocampos, it stayed 1-0, but Barça would not have been enough to advance.
Martin Braithwaite makes the decision
Despite good chances for Barcelona, Jordi Alba hit the crossbar with a remarkable volley (67th), that second hit came shortly before the end. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Gerard Piqué was there, the defender headed a cross from Antoine Griezmann into the goal after a corner kick. Shortly before, Seville’s Fernando had to leave the field after a yellow-red card. Barcelona took advantage of the majority early on at the start of extra time, when Martin Braithwaite, who was substituted in the 89th minute, made the decision 3-0.
Athletic Bilbao and UD Levante will determine who will be Barcelona’s final opponents in the second semifinals. The first leg ended 1-1, the decision will be made in Levante on Thursday.
Barça have good chances for the title, at least in the cup. In La Liga (five points behind first place and one more game played) and the Champions League (1: 4 first leg defeat against Paris Saint-Germain) the club is not doing well, the also has problems of a completely different kind.
For Sevilla, who won nine competitive games in a row between January and February, the cup is another setback within a few weeks. At the weekend, coach Julen Lopetegui’s team had already lost to Barcelona in the league. And in the Champions League threatens after 2: 3 defeat in the home game against Borussia Dortmund the end in the second round. The second leg will take place on March 9th.