Barcelona defeated Sevilla 2-0 in the Copa del Rey final after extra-time on Sunday night to end their season with another trophy.
It looked as though it could have been all so different when Javier Mascherano was sent off after just 35 minutes for bringing down Kevin Gameiro who was in on goal.
Mascherano red card pic.twitter.com/1At2zv6QBc
— ? (@JFNB1) May 22, 2016
Sevilla, fresh from their success against Liverpool in the Europa League final on Wednesday, were unable to make the most of their man advantage.
Luis Enrique’s side were able to maintain a sense of control in the game, although they were forced to wait until extra-time to find a breakthrough.
Both sides down to 10-men. They were boosted by the fact that Sevilla were also reduced to 10 men in the last few minutes of normal time.
Ever Banega brought down Neymar who was played through on goal, and the Argentine gave the referee no choice but to brandish the red card.
— Higor Isidoro (@HigorIsi) May 22, 2016
Barca almost broke the deadlock from the resulting free-kick, but with neither side able to find the back of the net, they were forced to play an additional 30 minutes.
They didn’t have to wait too much longer as Lionel Messi’s brilliant ball finally carved open the Sevilla defence after 97 minutes.
Jordi Alba was the recipient, and the Spanish full-back made no mistake as he guided his effort into the back of the net.
Given the energy exerted by Sevilla through the game, it would have come as a huge blow for Unai Emery’s side with few expecting them to mount a late comeback.
There wasn’t to be another comeback from the Europa League winners, with Messi again turning out to be the provider with another perfect assist.
This time, it was Neymar who was the man to finish off the move, and indeed finish off the game as Barcelona wrapped up the win.
Le 2-0! Quelle passe de Messi encore! #FCBSEV
— Footmania (@footmaniateam) May 22, 2016
It was a disappointing result for Sevilla, but they will look back on another successful year given their triumph in Europe which will see them feature in the Champions League next season.
Barcelona, winners of the 2015/16 Copa del Rey. As for Barcelona, it’s a domestic double for Luis Enrique’s side as they added the Copa del Rey to the La Liga title they won earlier this month.
Although their disappointment in Europe will be a red mark against their season, they will undoubtedly be pleased to end on such a positive note.
Barca will certainly be aiming for more silverware next season, and led by Messi, Suarez and Neymar, few will doubt their ability to complete their objective.