Sevilla stuns Barcelona 0-2 in Spanish Copa del Rey quarter-final first
Ironically, Barcelona’s anticipation of winning a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey were broken on Wednesday as they were packed down 0-2 by Sevilla in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
Lionel Messi was rested and Luis Suarez left on the bench as Kevin-Prince Boateng made his debut for Barca in a match that Sevilla might even have been disappointed not to win by more.
Nonetheless, Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder each scored in the second half at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to leave their opponents facing an uphill task if they are to rescue next week’s second leg
Barcelona had thrashed Sevilla 5-0 in last year’s final, when Andres Iniesta delivered a masterclass in what was one of his final appearances for the club. Winning a domestic double, however, did little to ease the disappointment of crashing out of the Champions League and Ernesto Valverde is clearly keener to rotate in the Copa del Rey this season.
Messi and Sergio Busquets were left out completely while Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jordi Alba all started on the bench, only to come on as substitutes in the second half.
“I thought it was for the best,” Valverde said. “But when you make changes you take risks.” Boateng was signed to spare Suarez nights like these and he did little particularly wrong, or spectacular, before being replaced after 63 minutes.
Sevilla coach Pablo Machin said: “We played a great game, it’s a shame it doesn’t settle the tie. In Barcelona, anything can happen. They have turned around bigger defeats than this.
Report by: K.V.Raman
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