Barcelona 6 Sevilla 1 (6-3 agg): Coutinho at the double in Copa del Rey comeback

Barcelona's quest for a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey title saw the La Liga leader overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to knock out Sevilla.

Published : Jan 31, 2019 09:58 IST

Barcelona's Brazilian Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring against Sevilla.
Barcelona's Brazilian Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring against Sevilla.

Barcelona's Brazilian Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring against Sevilla.

Philippe Coutinho scored twice as Barcelona produced a brilliant comeback in the second leg of its Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Sevilla, a thumping 6-1 win sealing a last-four place.

Sevilla, beaten in the final by Barca in two of the past three years, deservedly won the first leg at home 2-0 when Ernesto Valverde's decision to rest captain Lionel Messi backfired badly.

Messi was back in the team for Wednesday's return at Camp Nou and he inspired a dramatic comeback that saw Ivan Rakitic and Sergi Roberto add to Coutinho's well-taken brace before Luis Suarez and the Barca captain himself compounded Sevilla's misery.

Before Messi and Suarez made sure of Barca's progression, Guilherme Arana - after a VAR review for a penalty at the other end - had set up a grandstand finish, while Ever Banega having a first-half penalty saved by Jasper Cillessen proved a key moment in the second leg.

Barcelona has won the Copa del Rey in each of the last four seasons and the La Liga leader is on track to make it five in a row after a stunning performance.

Coutinho's error contributed to Sevilla's second goal last week but he gave Barca a 13th-minute lead when Quincy Promes' challenge on Messi resulted in a penalty the Brazilian stroked home.

Barca was grateful to Cillessen for two big saves in close succession, as he magnificently pushed Andre Silva's flicked backheel on to the post, then dived to his left to keep out Banega's poor penalty after Gerard Pique bundled over Roque Mesa.

The tie was all-square in the 31st minute when Arthur's sensational pass sent Rakitic clear for a delicately poked finish. The former Sevilla midfielder refused to celebrate scoring.

Barca led 3-0 early in the second half, Coutinho stooping to head a driven Suarez cross through Juan Soriano's weak hands.

The capitulation from Sevilla - thrashed 5-0 by Barca in last year's final - was seemingly completed 103 seconds later by Roberto's rifled first-time finish from a deflected Messi pass.

But after Coutinho had a penalty appeal for a handball against Daniel Carrico rejected, Sevilla went down the other end with Arana hammering a drive past Cillessen's grasping fingertips, although there was a VAR check before awarding the goal.

In the frantic final minutes, Sevilla could not find the second strike it needed to progress on away goals and, with the visitor over-committed, Suarez finished off a rapid break before Messi atoned for a pair of remarkable misses with the clincher.

What does it mean? Five in a row still on for Barca

The Copa del Rey has not always been Barca's top priority, but it has provided a regular source of silverware. Valverde's risk in resting Messi in the first leg may yet prove key if the Barca captain is fresher for Champions League clashes to come.

Cillessen shines in rare spotlight

It was Marc-Andre ter Stegen who was on top form in Barca's 2-0 La Liga win at Girona last time out, but Cillessen showed he is more than a capable deputy for the German. Tremendous twin saves from Silva and Banega with Barca 1-0 up proved major turning points.

Banega miss costs Sevilla

Having scored 12 penalties out of 12 for Sevilla, Banega was a sure bet to beat Cillessen when he stepped up in the first half. But his spot-kick lacked both power and precision, allowing the Netherlands international to make the save. His miss saw Sevilla's belief drain away.

What's next?

Barcelona hosts Valencia on Saturday, when Sevilla goes to Celta Vigo. Copa del Rey semifinals are scheduled for next month. 

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment