Ousmane Dembele and Gerard Pique were among the goals as Barcelona pulled off a fine comeback to beat Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
Coming into the game with a two-goal deficit to overturn, Barcelona made a strong start. And the early pressure yielded a goal just twelve minutes in as Ousmane Dembele’s stunning strike fizzed into the back of the net leaving Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik with no chance.
Sevilla tried to work their way back into the game but Barcelona continued to put pressure and could have made it 2-0 if not for Marcos Acuna, who cleared a deflected Lionel Messi strike off the line. Sevilla showed more defensive discipline after half-time as Barcelona failed to find a way through, up until the 67th minute when Jordi Alba saw a spectacular effort bounce off the bar.
Six minutes later, Sevilla had the chance to kill the tie off when Youssef En-Nesyri was fouled by Oscar Mingueza inside the Catalans’ box handing the visitors a penalty. However, Lucas Ocampos produced a tame effort that was easily saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Two minutes into stoppage time, Sevilla were reduced to ten men as Fernando was sent off for his second booking of the night. And with what was pretty much the final action of normal time, Gerard Pique turned home Antoine Griezmann’s cross into the back of the net to make it 2-0 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate, forcing the game into extra-time.
Five minutes into the first half of extra-time and the turnaround was complete as Martin Braithwaite applied the finishing touches to a cross from Alba to put Barcelona ahead on aggregate. Tempers flared as Sevilla pushed for a late goal, with Luuk de Jong, who was on the bench, getting shown a red card for dissent.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 8/10
Wasn’t tested a great deal in the first half apart from one moment when he had to smother the ball at Luuk de Jong’s feet to stop him from taking a shot. Made a huge save to keep out Ocampos from the penalty spot after half-time which was a pivotal moment in the contest. A couple more routine stops later in the game.
Oscar Mingueza: 6.5/10
Solid for most parts of the game, the Barcelona B defender continued his progression with the first-team. Had a few difficult moments against Ocampos but did quite well to keep him quiet for large parts. Gave away the penalty which could have sealed Barcelona’s exit. Finished with two tackles and interceptions each, while misplacing just three of his 62 passes.
Gerard Pique: 8/10
Still thinking about this Pique celebration 😍 pic.twitter.com/gUeUhLMbSX
— Goal (@goal) March 3, 2021
Organised the backline well at the back and was always at hand to cover for his partners, doing well to limit the number of chances Sevilla had on the night. But his most important contribution in the game came at the other end when he rose to head home Griezmann’s cross deep in stoppage time to force the game into extra-time.
Clement Lenglet: 6.5/10
Sent a header just wide early in the game. Fairly solid at the back, dealing with crosses and long balls with ease as he won all eight of his aerial duels while also winning both of his ground duels. Survived a late penalty call for a potential handball in extra-time.
Sergino Dest: 5/10
Did not always look comfortable against Ocampos and Acuna on his flank, with the latter causing him problems in one-on-one situations. Going forward, managed one key pass but the USMNT international was largely ineffective and made way for Griezmann soon after the hour mark.
Frenkie de Jong: 7/10
My man said…. De Jong is not coming for my spot 😭💀 pic.twitter.com/kYCPDIsfKm
— 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕖𝕝 🇳🇱 (@MFKraan) March 3, 2021
An all-action display from the Dutchman who ran up and down the pitch all 120 minutes. Made positive runs forward from midfield to support his team in the attacking phases, making one dribble and two key passes. Did his bit defensively as well, winning four of his seven duels on the night. Crisp with his passing.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
Not his best performances but the Spaniard did well to screen the defence against potentially dangerous counter-attacks while kept things ticking along nicely when on the ball. Did lack that bit of imagination and creative edge with his distribution but did his job.
Made a swift recovery from the injury he picked up in the league game against Sevilla to start on Wednesday but the youngster wasn’t able to get into the game as much as he would have liked. Pressed the opposition well and was involved in a couple of good moves, including creating a chance for Dembele early on. Fired a shot wide in the first half. Made way for Braithwaite late in the second half.
Jordi Alba: 8/10
A constant menace to the Sevilla defence with his forward runs and intense pressing which helped him win the ball high up the pitch. Almost made it 2-0 with a spectacular effort in the second half which hit the crossbar. Then set Braithwaite up for the third goal of the game, helping Barcelona book a place in the finals. Reliable defensively when he needed to be.
Lionel Messi: 7.5/10
Lionel Messi’s game by numbers vs. Sevilla:
19 duels won
11/11 take-ons completed
6 fouls won
3 chances created
Helping his side into another Copa del Rey final. pic.twitter.com/7GkGj65Gi7
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 3, 2021
Not the most impactful of game from the Barcelona captain but still had a hand in vital moments, firstly setting up Dembele for the first goal then almost scoring one himself only to see his effort get hacked clear off the line by Acuna. Was involved in almost everything positive the Catalans conjured up in attack but Sevilla ensured he didn’t threaten the goal as much.
Ousmane Dembele: 8/10
Having scored against Sevilla at the weekend in the league game, the Frenchman was on target once again on Wednesday setting the tone for Barcelona’s comeback in the tie. Caused all sorts of problems each time he ran at the Sevilla defence and could have had more than one goal if he was more clinical in front of goal. Made three key passes on the night, before being subbed off.
Ousmane Dembélé has scored in back-to-back games for Barcelona for the first time this season.
Both goals have come against Sevilla. pic.twitter.com/Xxt887py4D
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 3, 2021
Antoine Griezmann: 7/10
On for Dest after the hour mark. Did brilliantly to beat his man before crossing the ball for Pique to score the second goal.
Ilaix Moriba: 6/10
Replaced Busquets with less than 15 minutes left as Barcelona pushed for a goal. Neat and tidy on the ball and made one key pass.
Junior Firpo: 6/10
Came on for Mingueza in the 78th minute. Slotted in an unnatural right-back position and was steady and solid.
Martin Braithwaite: 6.5/10
On for Pedri in the 89th minute. Did well to get on the end of Alba’s cross and score the goal that sent Barcelona through to the Copa del Rey finals.
Francisco Trincao: 6/10
Replaced Dembele in the 89th minute. Had a couple of nice moments on the ball.