Barcelona, Barcelona reached the Spanish Cup final on Wednesday at the Camp Nou by winning an extraordinary semi-final second leg against Sevilla 3-0 to go through 3-2 on aggregate.
Ousmane Dembele gave Barcelona the perfect start on 12 minutes by firing into the roof of Tomas Vaclik’s net.
Barcelona dominated but they needed Marc Andre ter Stegen to save Lucas Ocampos’ penalty in the second half to stay in the tie, dpa reported.
Sevilla midfielder Fernando was sent off in injury-time but that looked incidental as time appeared to be running out for Barcelona.
But on 94 minutes Gerard Pique nodded in Antoine Griezman’s header across the face of the six-yard box and the game went into extra-time.
It was five minutes into the added period when substitute Martin Braithwaite dive-headed the winner from Jordi Alba’s cross.
Barcelona players bounced up and down in a huddle on the final whistle with goal hero Pique hobbling from what looked like an injury to the same right knee that kept him out for three months earlier in the season.
He had been only one of the heroes. Dembele set the tone with the opener and Ter Stegen’s save after Ocampos was bundled over by Oscar Mingueza was another turning point.
Sevilla players believe the Barcelona defender should have been sent off after giving away the penalty.
They also complained that Clement Lenglet handled in the area in extra-time.
Midfielder Joan Jordan said: “I don’t understand why the referee did not show a second yellow to Mingueza.”
Ivan Rakitic added: “There were little decisions that went our way. Lenglet was handball.”
Barcelona could have had complaints too. Ocampos looked to block a shot from Messi with his hand in the second half of normal time.
“We have shown tonight that we are a great team that sticks together,” said Jordi Alba.
“We deserved this,” added Ter Stegen. “With a penalty you never what will happen. I’m just glad to have helped the team. We deserved to go through.”
Levante meet Athletic Bilbao in the second semi-final on Thursday with the tie balanced at 1-1 from the first leg.
Source: Bahrain News Agency