Lionel Messi clashed with Sevilla sporting director Monchi in the tunnel after Barcelona produced a memorable comeback on Wednesday to beat the Andalusian side 3-0 in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Monchi appears to have angered the Barcelona players by calling coach Ronald Koeman a “crybaby” after Saturday’s defeat to the Catalan giants in La Liga. Barca players spotted Monchi in the tunnel after the win on Wednesday and went to ask for an explanation.
Tempers subsequently arose which led Monchi to tell Messi, “you always win the same!” The Barcelona captain replied, “you’re going home angry tonight,” according to Sique Rodriguez at Cadena SER.
There was also some pushing between both sets of players and insults hurled. Messi also explained to Monchi he was angry with him because he’d called for the Argentine to be sent off during Saturday’s La Liga clash between the two teams.
Sevilla, who saw Fernando sent off during the game, were left fuming by a penalty decision late on. The visitors appealed for a spot-kick for a handball by defender Clement Lenglet but saw their appeals turned down. Television replays showed the defender played the ball with his best before it hit his arm.
Barca progressed to the final of the tournament 3-2 on aggregate after coming back from a 2-0 defeat in the first leg at Sevilla. Koeman’s side will play the winners of Thursday’s second semi-final between Athletic and Levante.
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Tension Between Barcelona and Sevilla
There’s no doubt there was plenty of tension between the two sides both on and off the pitch on Wednesday. Barca responded to a tweet Sevilla had posted mocking Gerard Pique after the game.
Sevilla had poked fun at the center-back after Barcelona’s 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain. Yet it was Pique’s 94th-minute equalizer on Wednesday that sent the game into extra-time. Martin Braithwaite then struck the winner to knock Sevilla out.
Barcelona legend Carles Puyol also traded blows with Sevilla star Suso on social media. Suso had mocked Pedri after the first leg, as the midfielder has claimed Barca should have had a penalty. Puyol clearly hadn’t forgotten as he replied with a simple “good night.”
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui admitted after the game just how disappointed his side had been to throw away a two-goal lead and miss out on the final, as reported by Goal.
He told reporters, “we experienced the most crushing feeling in football conceding with the last kick of the game. We have seen the bitter side of football, to be deprived of a final, for which we have worked hard to try to get to, in the last play of the game. We have to swallow poison.”
Sevilla Win Thrills Messi
There’s no doubt it was a tough night for Sevilla but a euphoric game for the Catalan giants. Messi was captured celebrating wildly when Pique equalized with a header deep into stoppage time.
There was also no disguising the captain’s happiness at the final whistle.
Messi and Pique both warmly embraced coach Koeman after the match, and the Dutchman was full of praise for his team’s performance, as reported by AS.
We always believed. We never gave up on the Copa. It’s a question of mentality. I, as a coach, can’t ask my team to do more than what I’ve seen tonight. We fought until extra time and it’s incredible. I’m very happy with the team’s work tonight.
We deserved to go through. I think we were better over the two legs. We were the best team. We managed to score three goals and could’ve scored more. You can’t ask for more.
Barca have now come from behind against Rayo Vallecano, Granada, and Sevilla in the Copa del Rey in 2020-21 and have shown real fighting spirit in a competition that still looks their best chance of silverware this season.