Ousmane Dembele struck an absolute screamer for Barcelona on Wednesday to put the Catalan giants 1-0 up on the night in their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Sevilla the Camp Nou.
Barca went into the tie 2-0 down from the first leg but halved the deficit on 12 minutes when the Frenchman fired a rocket into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
OUSMANE DEMBELE GOLAZO 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/qQPNOKNczD
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 3, 2021
The strike means it’s now two goals in two games against Sevilla for the Frenchman who was also on target against the Andalusians in Saturday’s 2-0 La Liga win at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
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Koeman Sticks With Same Team
Manager Ronald Koeman opted to stick with the same team that beat Sevilla on Saturday for the Copa del Rey clash. The Dutch coach once again selected three center-backs in the shape of Gerard Pique, Oscar Mingueza, and Clement Lenglet. Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest were once again deployed as wing-backs.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 3, 2021
Pedri shrugged off a calf injury that forced him off at the weekend to start again in midfield alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets, while Dembele once again partnered Lionel Mess in attack.
Koeman’s selection meant there was once again no place for Antoine Griezmann in the starting XI. The World Cup winner was forced to settle for a place on the bench for the third match in a row.
Dembele Thrives Against Sevilla
Dembele’s goal means he’s now scored in consecutive games for the first time this season and had also now scored four times against Los Nervionenses since joining Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.
⚠️ | QUICK STAT
Ousmane Dembélé has now scored the opener against Sevilla for the second time in a week – his 4 career goals against them is now the most he's scored against a single club.
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) March 3, 2021
The Frenchman is not the only player who has an excellent record against Sevilla. Captain Messi has 38 goals in 42 games against the Andalusian side who are his favorite victims.
Messi heads into the match in a rich vein of goalscoring form. The Argentine has seven goals and two assists in his last five matches for Barcelona in all competitions.
Barca will need their attacking players to come up with the goods if they are to progress to the final after losing the first leg 2-0. Koeman spoke about what his team need to do ahead of the game at a news conference.
We know that a 2-0 against us is difficult to overcome but there are options. We have demonstrated for some time now that the team is hungry, and the team is mentally ready to take on difficult tasks. Of course, we need more effectiveness than we have shown recently. But we have our chances, we’ve created more opportunities than our opponents. If this happens again then I just hope we can be more efficient and keep a clean sheet which is vital.
Dembele’s early goal gives Barca the perfect start, but the Catalan giants still have plenty more work to do if they are to progress to a final against either Athletic or Levante.