Late drama when Barcelona defeat Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey final

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Barcelona reached the final of the Copa del Rey in spectacular fashion after beating Sevilla 3-0 at the Camp Nou, overcoming the deficit of two goals in the first leg.

Ronald Koeman’s men had a difficult task on their hands heading into the match, as they lost the away game 2-0 at Ramon Sánchez Pizjuan thanks to goals from Jules Kounde and Ivan Rakitic.

It was an almost perfect start for the locals. In the 12th minute, Ousmane Dembele opened up a bit of space on the edge of the area before launching a beautiful forehand shot into the upper corner.

That was it in terms of action in the first half. Barcelona came close to adding a second when Lionel Messi’s cut was deflected towards goal, only to be brilliantly cleared from the line by Marcos Acuña.

Luuk de Jong came closer to scoring before the break for the visitors, but was put down by Marc-Andre ter Stegen when he passed the goal.

The first chance of the second half fell to Jordi Alba, whose almost perfect volley crashed off the crossbar after a cross from Dembélé.

Shortly after came the crucial point of the tie. Oscar Mingueza dropped Lucas Ocampos inside the area to give the Andalusians a penalty. This gave the visiting team a golden opportunity to put the tie beyond Barcelona, ​​with the away goals rule active.

However, it was a missed opportunity. Ocampos went ahead to take, but his poor effort was prevented by Ter Stegen in goal.

It looked like Sevilla would hold out for a 2-1 aggregate win, with La Blaugrana scrambling to find a breakthrough. They had a couple of penalty calls, but it was out of desperation more than anything.

The Nervionenses were reduced to ten men during injury time after former Manchester City midfielder Fernando received a second yellow card for a pull from substitute Francisco Trincao.

And then, in the last seconds of the game, the hosts rescued the tie. Antoine Griezmann scooped the ball wide, sliced ​​off his strongest left foot and threw an excellent cross for Gerard Piqué, who placed his header into the bottom corner.

In the fifth minute of extra time, the comeback was complete. An Alba cross from the left found Martin Braithwaite unmarked, whose diving header slipped under Tomas Vaclik and crossed the line.

Koeman’s side failed to pocket a quarter, and suffered a scare when the VAR reviewed a possible handball against Clement Lenglet. However, no penalties were imposed on them and they held out until reaching the final.

Barcelona will face Levante or Athletic Bilbao in the final on April 17.

Another unconvincing Copa del Rey victory

Barcelona celebrates its passage through the semifinals of the Copa del Rey

Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that Barcelona is in the final of the Copa del Rey. This will be a huge relief for Koeman and his team, especially given their disappointing season.

However, it has been far from being a pleasure.

The Catalan giants needed extra time to defeat third division Cornella, narrowly defeating Second Division Rayo Vallecano after losing in the round of 16. This was followed by a breathless quarter-final with Granada, where he came within seconds of being eliminated.

Once again, they were on the verge of being knocked out, grateful for the heroics of Piqué and Ter Stegen.

If that leads them to lift the trophy, Barcelona fans probably won’t mind. However, they surely would have preferred something a little more convincing.

Koeman’s 3-5-2: the way forward?

Koeman has shaken things up at the Camp Nou, is this the right play?

Barcelona have played 4-3-3 since the dawn of time. Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, they all accomplished incredible things using the 4-3-3 formation.

The training hasn’t been as successful in recent years, and Koeman has decided it’s time for a change.

The Dutchman started the league game last weekend against Sevilla with a 3-5-2, with Piqué, Lenglet and Mingueza forming three defenders, Alba and Sergino Dest as wingers, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri in midfield. and Messi and Dembélé in front.

And it worked: Barcelona took all three points thanks to goals from Dembélé and Messi.

The past week has provided evidence that a culture change could be the right move for La Liga teams. Leaving the legendary 4-3-3 for Koeman’s 3-5-2 may be the way to go.

Fan reaction

Dembélé scores a beauty to give Barcelona an advantage

Ter Stegen saves the Ocampos penalty to keep Barcelona alive

I hammered just equals death

Braithwaite heads home with the winning goal




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