Koeman building, Piqué scoring

Cup football showed just exciting it can be at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, with Barcelona taking the deserved spoils against Sevilla. Though it cost them. They got to 2-0 in time added on, with a header from Piqué who roared into the camera with the same rage as Maradona did the day he scored his last goal in a World Cup, against Greece. It was a header from a Griezmann cross, after a final 10 minutes where all the action took place on top of Vaclik’s goalmouth. A goal at the death that left Sevilla in pieces. They were down to 10 with Fernando’s sending off. In extra-time what you’d expect happened: Barcelona finished the job off, with a header from the humble Braithwaite.

Barcelona deserved more from their play

The goal from Piqué was the high point in a fine game from Barcelona, who deserved to have got more sooner. Sevilla came out pushing up, with two forwards in the middle (De Jong and En Nesyri) and managed to press high up. But Barcelona knew how to bring the ball out with an exquisite touch. They broke through Sevilla’s lines and got in down the wings, with dangerous crosses swung into the box. They only produced one goal in the first half, but deserved more. And in the second, before Piqué’s effort, above all a beautiful shot from Alba that hit the crossbar. Barça were going all out for the win, against a Sevilla side who didn’t really turn up.

Penalties in Barcelona vs Sevilla

They did have their chance though, when Ter Stegen saved a penalty from Ocampos. That goal would have put Sevilla in the final. Then, with the score already at 3-0, they demanded another for a handball from Lenglet. Under the Old Testament it wasn’t a penalty; under the New Testament, we could say we’ve seen several penalties given for what happened, but the chicken sexer of the day, De Burgos, said no. The next time referee Clos Gomez speaks, I’d like to see him explaining identical actual cases, given one way or the other, depending on who and where. And explaining why the indirect free-kicks in the area are not given or end up in a penalty, as happened yesterday on the other one. But all that aside, this was a great match that gave us a great finalist. Koeman is turning things around.