Leo Messi inspires 10-man Barcelona past Sevilla to claim back-to-back cups
Defending Copa del Rey champions Barcelona became the first team to retain the trophy since 1998 as they defeated Sevilla 2-0 after extra time in the final.
Barca were the last team to clinch back-to-back Copa del Reys, which they did under Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal’s guidance, though they had to dig deep to make it a domestic double in 2016 having played for more than an hour with 10 men following Javier Mascherano’s first-half dismissal.
The La Liga champions stood firm against the Europa League victors, who were back in action following Wednesday’s win over Liverpool in Basel, and when Ever Banega’s red card levelled the numbers ahead of extra time, Barca had the staying power.
Lionel Messi’s terrific vision led to Jordi Alba’s first goal of the season in the 97th minute and the Argentinian then teed up Neymar for a second after Daniel Carrico had also been sent off for two cautions.
It proved to be one match too far for Sevilla, who had opened the season with a 5-4 Super Cup loss to Barca in August when they were undone by another extra-time goal.
The result means that Barcelona end the season on a high with a domestic double, putting their Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid behind them.
Belfast Telegraph Digital