Sevilla silence Barca in Copa del Rey


FC Barcelona fell to a 2-0 defeat away at Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa Del Rey semifinal on Wednesday evening.

Ronald Koeman made five changes to Barcelona's starting line-up from the 3-2 win at Real Betis three days ago, bringing in Lionel Messi most notably. Meanwhile, Sevilla showed three changes from their 3-0 win over Getafe in LaLiga last weekend.

Barca made a bright start to the match, pressing their opponents high up the pitch. And the Blaugrana almost opened their account in the 13th minute. Antoine Griezmann chipped the ball over the Sevilla defence and Messi connected with a first-time shot as Bounou saved the attempt with his left leg.

The hosts had their first opportunity in the 20th minute. Suso turned his opponent inside out and squared the ball back for Kounde, who was positioned high up the pitch following a free-kick but sailed wide of the target.

Julen Lopetegui's side took the lead with 25 minutes gone when Kounde showed good skill to bypass Samuel Umtiti and fire past Ter Stegen.

Messi came close 10 minutes into the second half due to some individual brilliance. He dribbled past one Sevilla player, inside another and then laid it off to Frenkie de Jong, who played it back to the Argentine but his shot was kept out by the finger tips of Bounou.

In the 71st minute, Messi's dangerous cross towards the back post was eventually worked back into his path. He had a clean shot at goal but failed to find the target with his effort, instead clipping the side-netting.

With five minutes remaining in the contest, Rakitic gave the home side a comfortable lead with a neat finish beyond Ter Stegen.

Messi saw a third effort brilliantly saved by Bounou as Sevilla made sure they didn't concede any away goals to take a two-goal advantage to the Camp Nou.

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