There was a fantastic buzz around this tie even before a ball had been kicked. Both clubs had enjoyed a trophy success in the past week and were looking to complete a double. Barcelona had secured the league title on the final day last season while Sevilla overcame Liverpool to win a third straight Europa League.
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Once the ball did get rolling, it was Sevilla who were making life difficult for Barça. They didn't allow the Catalans any time to settle and as a result, Barça's passing game was off. One pass that did come off was Andrés Iniesta's to Luis Suárez in the eighth minute. Just to the left of the penalty area, Iniesta chipped the ball over the defence into the path of his Uruguayan teammate. Suárez jumped to hit the volley but pulled it wide.
Both teams continued to battle with each other. A slick Calderon pitch allowed many strong challenges to come sliding in including a particular highlight from Adil Rami in what can only be described as a diving head slide tackle.
However it was another challenge that defined the first half. A ball over the top allowed Kevin Gameiro to run in behind and it was left to Javier Maschernao to chase him. It was a race Mascherano was never going to win so he elected to drag him down before he reached the box. The referee showed no hesitation in showing Mascherano a deserved red card and the pendulum swung in Sevilla's favour. The followup free kick was a good effort from Éver Banega that required a hand from Marc-André ter Stegen.
Barcelona survived until half time and Luis Enrique looked to counter the dismissal by replacing Ivan Rakitić with Jérémy Mathieu. But Sevilla kept coming at Barcelona and within five minutes of the restart the ball had cannoned off the post. Banega again had an effort that took the slightest but pivotal touch from Gerard Piqué to take it onto the post.
The night continued to get worse for Barcelona in the 54th as Lionel Messi looked to be injured. A chipped ball from Suárez had created an awkward chance for Messi that led to a strong collision to his left temple. The Argentine recovered but it was actually Suárez who would be forced off. His chip had overextended his hamstring and it was evident early on that he wouldn't be able to continue. Suárez was replaced by Rafinha as Barcelona switched back to a three man midfield.
Despite the game descending further into a scrappy affair, Sevilla were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority. With extra time on the mind they introduced the pace of Yevhen Konoplyanka to get at Piqué and Mathieu.
That extra period was steadily approaching but there was time for the playing field to be levelled again. In an almost carbon copy of Mascherano's sending off, Banega met the same fate. The midfielder dropped deep to pick up Neymar but inadvertently played him onside. With Neymar getting away from him, Banega slid and got nothing off the ball. The red card was immediately shown and worse for Sevilla was the free kick was in Messi range. In an effort more about precision than pace, Messi got it on target but it was tipped over fairly comfortably.
The full time whistle went at 0-0 and both teams of ten men headed into extra time. Like most games involving Barcelona, it was a high tempo affair so when the extra time kicked off there were some visually tired legs from both teams. One man who didn't appear tired though was Jordi Alba. In the 97th minute, Messi picked the ball up in central midfield. With one of the passes of the season he lifted the ball up and across into the path of the charging Alba. With a finish that Suárez would've been proud of, Alba simply stroked the ball across the keeper and into the far corner. It was jubilation for the full back who had just scored his first goal of the season and a probable cup winner.
The Sevilla players looked exhausted. The more they pushed up, the more they risked a counterattack from Messi and Neymar. One of these counterattacks should've been converted as Neymar breaked with four players around him. He hesitated until the last minute before giving it to Iniesta but the defender closed down the club captain quickly.
With 110 minutes played it showed the physical exhaustion of some of the players as the game had to stop for the referee to receive treatment. Pointing to his right leg he signalled it was cramp and after some quick treatment, he was fit to continue.
The tired legs was accompanied with tired minds and that was shown with Daniel Carriço late tackle on Messi. He got some of the ball but a lot of Messi and the referee decided to show him the second yellow card.
Finally, deep into added time onto the extra time, Neymar got the goal that killed the game. Again, it was Messi as the architect. Jinking his run then sliding it to Neymar. The Brazilian tucked the ball away and won the cup for Barcelona.
Sevilla would've been disappointed not to capitalise on their man advantage but Barça hung in before delivering two killer blows.
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