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Ronald Koeman was full of admiration for the mentality of his Barcelona players after they produced an “incredible” comeback to advance to the Copa del Rey final with a 3-0 victory over Sevilla.
Barça started a dramatic second leg at the Camp Nou on Wednesday with a two-goal deficit, but won the tie 3-2 on aggregate to set up a final against Athletic Bilbao or Levante.
The Catalan giants made headlines earlier in the week when former President Josep Maria Bartomeu was among those arrested on Monday – then provisionally released on charges of unfair administration and corporate corruption – as part of a police investigation about last year. ‘Barcagate’ scandal.
There were no signs of agitation as Ousmane Dembélé put Barça in front from the beginning and Gerard Piqué made it 2-2 with a last gasp header to force extra time midweek.
Lucas Ocampos had missed the chance to equalize the night when his penalty was stopped by Barça goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen with 17 minutes to go and Sevilla sent Fernando off before Piqué attacked.
Martin Braithwaite put Barça ahead early in extra time and Luuk de Jong, who had been substituted, received a red card on the touchline for dissent after Sevilla were denied another penalty.
Barça coach Koeman praised the character shown by his team, which also beat Sevilla 2-0 in LaLiga on Saturday.
FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 3, 2021
The former Dutch coach said in quotation marks reported by Marca: “We always believed. We never gave up on the Cup. It’s a question of mentality.
“As a coach, I cannot ask my team to do more than what I have seen tonight. We fought until extra time and it’s incredible. I am very happy with the team’s work tonight.
“We deserved to pass. I think we were better with both legs. We were the best team ”.
Koeman added in a week that will end with the Barça presidential elections: “We managed to score three goals and we could have scored more. You can not ask for more “.