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Barcelona stun Sevilla with comeback to end awful week in Copa del Rey final | Copa del Rey

Barcelona will play their ninth Copa del Rey final in 12 years however this was something however routine, the route there torturous and dramatic. Marc André ter-Stegen saved a Lucas Ocampos penalty that will have taken Sevilla by earlier than Gerard Piqué scored with the final contact of regular time to rescue his aspect, dragging this match into additional time the place Martin Braithwaite accomplished the comeback.

The Dane’s header in the end defeated Sevilla 3-0 on the evening, 3-2 on mixture, however even that may not have been definitive, even with Sevilla down to 10 males by then. Within the 99th minute, all the things was placed on pause, stress rising because the referee, José María Sánchez Martí­nez, stood with his finger in his ear. Within the VAR room 600km away, they revised one other potential penalty for a handball from Clément Lenglet.

Finally the enchantment was turned down, so a week which started with the previous president in a police cell and can end with a brand new president lastly in energy additionally delivered the possibility for some redemption for Barcelona. All three candidates have been in the administrators’ field at an empty Camp Nou as shouts of pleasure echoed spherical on the end, the gamers, as exhausted as they have been elated, piling on and screaming. For Sevilla, there was simply remorse.

Barcelona had completed it, rising bruised however nonetheless on their ft, which is the story of this season’s cup. They’d wanted additional time towards third-tier Cornella, had to come from behind to defeat second division Rayo Vallecano; and scored two in the final three minutes to take Granada to additional time, the place they have been obliged to rating two extra. And now they’d survived Sevilla: defeated 2-0 on the Sánchez Pizjuán, they’d turned it spherical, clinching a consequence that Piqué had vowed would “change all the things”.

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On Saturday the centre-back had insisted: “we’re very, very alive”; with the clock exhibiting 93.05 on Wednesday evening, it didn’t appear to be it. However a single purpose was nonetheless all they wanted, and taking part in as a centre-forward Piqué acquired it, glancing in Antoine Griezmann’s cross. Jordi Alba then equipped Braithwaite to take them to the final in Seville, the place they may face Levante or Athletic Bilbao. By then Piqué might now not stroll, however nor might he care much less.

Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite (centre) celebrates after his extra-time header.
Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite (centre) celebrates after his extra-time header. {Photograph}: Joan Monfort/AP

It had been an extended evening, and it had began off quick, Barcelona working at Sevilla with an intent and incision that advised they’d not want the rescue mission that they have been later compelled to launch. When Ousmane Dembélé scored the opening purpose it had been coming, though the sport was solely 12 minutes in. It was the Frenchman’s fourth likelihood of the evening, and the primary purpose Sevilla had conceded in the entire competitors.

Successful the ball in the realm and scrambling away from Jules Koundé, Dembélé turned full circle to evade the defender, heading away from purpose somewhat than in direction of it. Out of the realm, too. There, he stopped, as if now not in something aside from sustaining possession. Immediately, he smashed it from 18 yards out and located the highest nook, too quick for Tomas Vaclik.

Barcelona had the lead. Greater than that, they appeared to have this recreation and their opponents the place they needed them. They’d refused to hold round, as if decided to keep away from any drama – however that’s what they acquired. They have been slicing by Julen Lopetegui’s workforce, who have been barely given room to breathe, not to mention play. Unable to win the ball typically and unable to hold it once they did, Sevilla discovered Barcelona coming at them repeatedly.

Inside, Pedri moved easily, all neat touches, good timing, and sleek turns. To both aspect of him, there was thrust, males racing by. Invariably, Barcelona’s strikes ended with some assault on Vaclik’s purpose. Transient appearances from Joan Jordán and Luuk de Jong on the different end have been simply that. At half-time, Barcelona led 1-0. Sevilla might be grateful it was no more, and that they’d been given the possibility to make changes.

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European roundup: Milan seize last-gasp draw

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Franck Kessié’s 96th-minute penalty rescued a 1-1 draw for Milan at residence to Udinese, after goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma’s error allowed Rodrigo Becão to put the guests in entrance.

Jens Stryger Larsen’s last-gasp handball allowed Stefano Pioli’s aspect to keep away from a pricey residence defeat, however Inter can nonetheless stretch their lead to six factors with a win over Parma on Thursday. Atalanta climbed to third as a second-half flurry of targets earned a 5-1 win over backside membership Crotone, whereas Francesco Caputo‘s late penalty earned Sassuolo some extent in their 3-3 thriller with Napoli.

Amadou Diawara struck a late winner for Roma at Fiorentina to increase their top-four hopes on an eventful evening for Leonardo Spinazzola. The Roma wing-back scored at each ends, cancelling out his opening volley with an personal purpose. Elsewhere, Daniele Rugani’s header lifted Cagliari out of the drop zone as they beat Bologna.

Ligue 1: Leaders Lille depart it late

Lille wanted two injury-time targets from ahead Jonathan David to beat Marseille 2-0 and keep their two-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain. David struck his first after Steve Mandanda spilled Jonathan Ikoné’s shot, then turned in a wayward Ikoné effort moments later. PSG edged to a 1-0 win at Bordeaux thanks to Pablo Sarabia’s early purpose.

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Third-placed Lyon stayed some extent behind PSG thanks to Houssem Aouar’s winner at residence to Rennes, whereas Monaco misplaced floor after Frédéric Guilbert’s late stunner sealed victory for Strasbourg. Fifth-placed Lens received 3-2 at struggling Saint-Étienne, whereas Nantes keep in relegation hassle after a 2-1 residence defeat to Reims.

{Photograph}: Antonio Calanni/AP

The sport did change, too. Barcelona nonetheless dominated the ball, their defence nonetheless urgent excessive and alert to these uncommon moments when Sevilla sought a approach out. But it surely was much less relentless now and lowering by the minute, the sense of hazard diminishing. Sevilla, it appeared, had survived the worst of the storm, and began even to hold the ball. Because the second interval progressed, this started to really feel a bit like subsequent purpose wins.

Sevilla ought to have gotten it. An excellent break led by Yousef En-Nesyri carried Sevilla upfield, the place they received a penalty after Ocampos was introduced down by Óscar Mingueza. Ocampos, on instead after 5 weeks out injured, took duty, which weighed heavy. Rating and it might be nearly completed, Barcelona left needing three extra targets in lower than 20 minutes. However his run up was too straight and his shot was poor, Ter Stegen’s save unexpectedly snug.

Time although was slipping away, Barcelona nonetheless wanted a purpose and Sevilla’s wall was higher constructed now. Koeman despatched on all his attackers. He additionally despatched Piqué up entrance. However alternatives have been few till a late, determined surge. Ocampos had to dive full size in entrance of Lionel Messi, blocking the shot with his chest. After which Francisco Trincão was introduced down, which means a pink card for Fernando and a final likelihood for Messi on the sting of the realm. It was the 93rd minute and his free-kick deflected broad for a nook, that likelihood denied however another delivered.

Messi’s cross deflected and dropped on the far publish the place Diego Carlos tried to clear, maybe unnecessarily. Griezmann managed, turned and curled it in in direction of the six-yard field and in direction of Piqué. Subsequent factor they knew, he was working to the touchline and screaming down the digital camera, like Diego Maradona in 1994, teammates engulfing him.

There was not even time for Sevilla to kick off once more and someplace inside they knew it was over, this recreation heading into additional time and Braithwaite heading Barcelona into one other final.

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