Lionel Messi challenges Fernando Reges throughout the Spanish Copa del Rey semi-final first leg soccer match. AFP
Profiting from a quiet recreation from Lionel Messi in his 900th profession match, Sevilla defeated Barcelona 2-0 within the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday.
Messi squandered a few possibilities as Sevilla received its eighth consecutive match in all competitions because of a purpose by Jules Koundé within the first half and one other by former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic close to the tip.
The second leg will likely be on Feb. 27 on the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona. Athletic Bilbao hosts Levante on Thursday within the first leg of the opposite semifinal.
Sevilla and Barcelona entered the semis as the most popular groups in Spain. The Catalan membership was coming off six straight wins in all competitions.
The groups performed within the Copa ultimate in 2016 and 2018, with Barcelona popping out on high each occasions. The Catalan membership is making an attempt to make it to its ninth ultimate in 11 years. It made it to the final 4 9 straight occasions earlier than being eradicated by Athletic within the quarterfinals final season.
Barcelona managed possession but it surely struggled to create many vital possibilities on the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium, with Sevilla goalkeeper Bono stopping the few efforts he confronted. Sevilla always threatened on counterattacks, particularly after opening the scoring within the first half.
Messi, making his 758th look with Barcelona so as to add to his 142 with Argentina, commanded the assault however did not capitalize on his possibilities, together with one with solely Bono to beat within the eleventh minute. He almost scored with a stoppage-time free kick that once more was stopped by Bono.
Messi had been rested within the Spanish league recreation in opposition to Actual Betis on Sunday, when he got here off the bench within the second half to steer the crew to a come-from-behind victory.
Koundé put Sevilla forward within the twenty fifth with a pleasant run that culminated with him slipping the ball in between the legs of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti earlier than taking pictures into the online from inside the realm.
Rakitic sealed the victory in an Eighty fifth-minute breakaway, beating goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen with a shot into the highest of the online. The midfielder did not have a good time the purpose in opposition to his former membership.
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was with out three gamers due to accidents – Martin Braithwaite, Sergiño Dest and Miralem Pjanic. Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui was with out injured gamers Lucas Ocampos and Jesús Navas.