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Barça are through to a tenth Copa del Rey Final in just 13 years after an amazing game of football on Wednesday night. Despite taking an early lead through Dembélé, it didn’t look like a dominant performance was going to be enough until the very last seconds.
Sevilla had even missed a penalty when Pique’s header’s dramatically sent the game into extra time.
Playing against ten men, the Catalans played inspiring football for there to the end, and Braithwaite’s goal on 95 minutes was enough to earn a meeting with Athletic Club or Levante on April 17.
Barça needed to score at least two goals and clearly wanted to get that done sooner rather than later. The opening minutes brought shot after shot, and most of them were coming from the boots of Ousmane Dembélé.
The one that found the net was an absolute pearl. 1-0. The perfect start.
Barça’s pressure was relentless. Sevilla were defending desperately and even when they could get the ball, and rather like in Saturday’s league game, the Catalans made sure they did little of major consequence with it.
If Sevilla were to score then Barça would need four. But the most pressing concern was getting the second that they’d need regardless. Despite dominating, the goal wasn’t coming and the chances weren’t flowing as fast they had done early on either.
And shortly after Jordi Alba had rattled one onto the bar, it was time to panic. Mingueza was adjudged to have blocked Ocampos in the area, and the same man stepped up to take the penalty.
Ter Stegen read the Argentinian’s kick perfectly… And a huuuge sigh of relief from Barça fans the world over.
As the minutes ticked away, the game’s intensity was raised immensely. There was more urgency than ever in Barça’s football and everything was happening in and around the Sevilla area.
The home side used up every drop in the tank in search of a goal to take the game into extra time, and Sevilla’s tank was equally dry as they did all they could to hang on.
Four minutes of injury time and Sevilla were down to ten after Fernando was red carded for a tug on Trincao…
Piqué saves the day!
And for 30 minutes of extra time too! With practically the last touch of the game, Griezmann caught the end of a cleared corner, hooked it back into the area, and there was Gerard Piqué to head in a last-gasp equaliser.
Five minutes into extra time and Barça were finally in command! Jordi Alba whipped in the ball and Braithwaite’s diving header did just enough to push the ball over the line.
The game entered a new dynamic and now it was Sevilla who were looking for a miracle. Ultimately their best chance came from a penalty claim that they were denied and instead Barça did an expert job of playing down the clock…
All the way to a Copa del Rey Final! It’s been a rollercoaster ride from start to finish and now we have the final to look forward to on April 17! Força Barça!
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