Arana against Rakitic
Match reports


After Barcelona went ahead on the night, Banega missed a penalty to level the score. The Azulgranas got into half-time with the tie levelled up and went 4-0 up straight after the break. Arana's goal awakened some hope, but two more blows finished off Sevilla

FC Barcelona finished with Sevilla's hopes in this year's Copa del Rey. The result in the first leg forced the home side to play their best game in front of their fans and right from the kick-off they were on the hunt for goals. Machín's team, who had two big chances to make life difficult for Barcelona in the first half, were no match for the home side and succumbed to a painful defeat. Arana's goal was not able to deny Barcelona from qualifying, with them scoring two more goals after.

After the first whistle, the first attack in Barcelona's half came through a Roque Mesa dribble, who gave Sarabia the ball slightly behind him and the Spaniard could not get a good shot off. Barcelona would not take long to start causing danger, with three back-to-back corners, which Sevilla managed to clear well, showing calm in face of the siege. After a Sevilla attack, the ball hit Rakitic's hand in the box while he tried to clear it, but the referee nor VAR deemed it worthy of a penalty. In the next play, Messi fell in the box after hitting his foot against the ground after a slight touch from Promes, with the referee calling for a penalty this time. Coutinho put his side ahead from the penalty spot.

At 1-0, André Silva hit the post and Banega missed a penalty to equalise

With the scoring open, Barcelona started to hone in on Juan Soriano's goal, who was called into action minutes later to block a shot from Messi in the box. Sevilla then managed to relax, benefitting from a break in the Barcelona attack. Promes, in a wonderful bit of play, got down the right wing and crossed for André Silva who improvised with a splendid backheel that was denied by both Cillessen and the post.

In the exact same play, Roque Mesa was fouled by Piqué as he was closing in on goal, with Sánchez Martínez calling for a penalty. Banega, with his brilliant penalty record, picked perhaps the worst day to miss, being thwarted by Cillessen. It was a blow for Sevilla, who in four minutes went from almost getting the equaliser which would have forced Barcelona to score four goals, to seeing Rakitic putting the ball past Juan Soriano from a pass from Arthur.

Barcelona effectively killed the tie straight after the break when they made it 4-0

Barcelona came out for the second-half full of determination, not giving Machín's side a chance. And in two minutes Sevilla's hopes were dashed. Firstly from a Coutinho header which Soriano could not get a hand to, and then Sergi Roberto made it 4-0 in the next play, leaving the tie firmly in Barcelona's hands. With everything against them, Sevilla stepped up to try and keep themselves in the cup. The home side, with their work done, dropped back and let Sevilla have the ball, and Arana's goal in the 68th minute gave the Nervionenses a chance. They were only one goal away from turning the tie away.

Valverde's side sensed the danger and came back into life. Soriano made a great save to deny Messi in the six-yard box and then Sergi Roberto put a shot over the bar. Minutes went by and despite not creating too much danger, Sevilla were only one goal away from the semi-final. Sevilla's hopes were to be crushed though following their own corner, with Luis Suárez scoring the fifth after a counter-attack. Messi finished the game in the last minute, making it 6-1.



6. FC BARCELONA: Cillessen, Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Rakitic (Arturo Vidal, 75'), Arthur (Aleñá, 90'), Coutinho (Semedo, 80'), Suárez and Messi.

1. SEVILLA FC: Vaclík, Carriço, Sergi Gómez, Kjaer, Promes, Arana (Bryan, 83'), Amadou, Roque Mesa (Franco Vázquez, 76'), Banega (Ben Yedder, 76'), Sarabia and André Silva.

GOALS: 1-0 Coutinho (penalty), 13'. 2-0 Rakitic, 30'. 3-0 Coutinho, 52'. 4-0 Sergi Roberto, 54'. 4-1 Arana, 68'. 5-1 Luis Suárez, 88'. 6-1 Messi, 91'. 

OFFICIAL: Sánchez Martínez. Yellows for Suárez, Roque Mesa, Carriço and Sergi Gómez

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