Barcelona pulled off a brilliant comeback on Wednesday to book their place in the Copa del Rey final with a 3-0 win over Sevilla that secured a 3-2 victory on aggregate.
The Catalan giants had been on the brink of elimination until Gerard Pique popped up with an equalizer in stoppage time to make it 2-2 and force extra-time. The center-back didn’t hold back with his celebrations.
Lionel Messi was on the opposite side of the pitch when the goal went in but was also spotted wildly celebrating his team-mate’s crucial strike.
Needless to say, the goal also went down pretty well on the touchline where manager Ronald Koeman and his coaching staff were unable to hide their delight.
Substitute Martin Braithwaite then won the tie for Barcelona in extra-time. The Denmark international headed Jordi Alba’s cross past goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík to complete an impressive comeback. Barca go on to play Athletic or Levante in the final next month.
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Chaos at the Camp Nou
It’s been another chaotic season at Barcelona, with police raids at the club on Monday, and Wednesday night’s match provided yet more drama in an action-packed 120 minutes of football.
Ousmane Dembele got Barca off to the perfect start with a brilliant goal after just 12 minutes and the hosts continued to dominate but could not find another goal.
Sevilla looked set to put the tie out of reach in the 73rd minute from the penalty spot after Oscar Mingueza was adjudged to have fouled Lucas Ocampos, but goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved the spot-kick to keep Barcelona in it.
Pique then headed Barcelona level in the 94th minute before Braithwaite’s goal finished Julen Lopetegui’s side off.
Huge Win For Barcelona
Barca held out pretty comfortably for the rest of extra-time against the 10 men of Sevilla, who lost Fernando to a red card just before Pique’s goal.
The full-time whistle brought more celebrations as Barca kept their Copa del Rey dreams alive.
Defender Jordi Alba spoke about the match after the final whistle at a news conference and admitted it was a special night for the club, as reported by Marca.
It had been a long time since I was so happy, it was a magical night. A pity that the fans are not here. We played a very good game. We were convinced that we would go through, but until the last minute we have not scored the goal. Very proud of the team. We have to improve things, but if we fight as we have fought today, everything is easier.
We have never doubted the coach, he is doing a very good job, he has very clear ideas. From the beginning he has been face to face. The job he is doing is magnificent. What has liked today is that the players who are playing more and those who are less are equally happy. What makes me happy is to see the team like this.
There’s no doubt it’s a big result for Barcelona, particularly after coming back from 2-0 down which will fuel belief for the rest of the season. Barca take on Osasuna next in La Liga before heading to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League where another comeback is needed.