Barça lost 2-0 to Sevilla in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. It means they’re going to need to find something special to turn the tie around on Wednesday, but there is every reason to believe it’s possible, here are four of the biggest…
This exact same situation arose, albeit in the quarter finals, in 2018/19, when under Ernesto Valverde, Barça lost 2-0 in the first leg. The Camp Nou was convinced the team could mount a comeback and they did so in spectacular fashion, winning 6-1 with goals from Coutinho (2) Messi, Suárez, Rakitic and Sergi Roberto.
Barça have just played Sevilla in the league, and won 2-0 – away from home, no less. But it was also the way they did it, almost completely neutralising the Andalusian firepower and always looking like the winning team. They won by two goals against a team that only conceded more than one goal in three of their games in all competitions since the start of 2021. Ronald Koeman seemed to have Sevilla sussed at the weekend. Now he needs to do it again
Two of the last three games in which Julen Lopetegui has managed the visiting side at camp Nou have ended in heavy defeats – a 5-1 loss for Real Madrid in in 2018/19 and a 4-0 defeat for Sevilla in 2019/20. On the other side of the coin, a repeat of the 1-1 draw in the league earlier this season would not be enough to see Barça qualify for the final.
But it means Lopetegui has suffered one heavy defeat at Camp Nou in each of the last two seasons. Is he due one this season too?
There is something about Messi and Sevilla. He has scored a personal record of 38 goals against them in all competitions, and the current top scorer in the competition is on fire at the moment.
And just as importantly, the players themselves are not just convinced that a comeback is possible, but that it WILL happen. “We will fight to the end for every trophy” promised Gerard Piqué after winning in Seville on Saturday. All will be revealed on Wednesday at 9.00pm CET.