King of Comebacks: Barça pull off amazing comeback and reach Cup Final
For the third straight round in this season’s Copa del Rey, Barcelona have made an amazing comeback and this time it was a brilliant 3-0 victory over Sevilla in extra time to reach the Spanish Cup Final. Barça gave it all they had and needed to wait until the very last kick of the game to send it to the bonus period, but they found the three goals needed and another Remontada is complete.
Sevilla started the game pressing high up the pitch trying to force Barça into mistakes, but the home team did a good job building from the back and the visitors quickly decided to retreat and defend their two-goal lead closer to their box.
Barça were intense and attacked with intent from the start, and they were rewarded with an early goal thanks to a fantastic long distance strike by Ousmane Dembélé, who used his right foot to curl a beauty into the top corner.
The Blaugrana continued to put pressure on and Sevilla needed some last-ditch tackles and blocks to keep Barça from scoring the second, and the visitors had absolutely nothing to offer going forward as they committed more and more bodies to defending their box.
At halftime it was all Barça at Camp Nou, and the job was half done. Could they keep up the intensity in the second half and find another goal to send the tie to extra-time?
All the energy expended in the first half clearly had its toll as Barça couldn’t be as intense with their pressing and Sevilla slowly grew into the game as they had more possession and touches in the final third.
They also earned a penalty with 20 minutes to go when Óscar Mingueza brought down Lucas Ocampos in the box, and the Argentine had a chance to kill off the tie. But the legend himself Marc-André ter Stegen made a fantastic penalty save, and Barça were still alive.
Ronald Koeman sent the cavalry in the final minutes looking for a late goal, and it finally came on the last kick of the game: Antoine Griezmann played a perfect cross into the box and Gerard Piqué headed home the goal that sent the semi-final to extra time.
Barça played the extra 30 minutes against 10 men thanks to a red card for Fernando, who received a second yellow card in the play that led to Piqué’s goal. Sevilla lined up in a 5-4-0 formation with every single man behind the ball, and all they could hope for was surviving Barça’s pressure for half an hour.
The visitors could only last five minutes: Jordi Alba played a beautiful cross into the box and substitute Martin Braithwaite scored a great header with his first touch of the night to make it 3-0 and turn the tie around.
Sevilla now had 25 minutes to find the goal that would send them to the Final, and they had to do it with 10 men. They almost got a huge chance to score when VAR checked for a potential handball by Clément Lenglet, but no penalty was given.
There was not much action in the final minutes of extra time as Sevilla didn’t show much creativity as they looked for a goal, and Barça did a good job of timewasting as they waited for the final whistle. It came, and Barça have completed another amazing comeback. This team never gives up, does it?
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Firpo 78’), Piqué, Lenglet; Dest (Griezmann 62’), De Jong, Busquets (Moriba 78’), Pedri (Braithwaite 89’), Alba; Messi, Dembélé (Trincão 89’)
Goals: Dembélé (12’), Piqué (90’+4), Braithwaite (95’)
Sevilla: Vaclík; Vidal (Navas 54’), Koundé, Carlos, Acuña (Rekik 54’); Fernando, Jordán (Munir 106’); Suso (Gómez 79’), Torres (Ocampos 62’), En-Nesyri; De Jong (Rakitic 54’)
Red Cards: Fernando (90’+2), De Jong (103’)
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