It was a move for the ages and the like of which we’ve not seen much of just recently.
Silky smooth from start to finish, it’s no wonder that Lionel Messi’s goal against Sevilla had the whole of the Camp Nou - bar the Sevillistas - on their feet.
TV cameras picked up on the away fans with a look that said ‘how on earth do you defend against that?!’
The brush strokes of masters at work, it was a joy to watch the move unfolding. What’s particularly pleasing, aside from the move and goal itself, is that it came in the 90th minute when Barca were already 5-1 up.
No let up in intensity until the final whistle. Magical.
From the moment that the Blaugranes cleared their lines and Carles Alena moved forward with considerable purpose, you could sense that the move could develop into something special. Particularly as most of the away side had been caught upfield.
As Messi took the ball from the youngster, Sevilla only had four players in their own half with others struggling to make up the ground.
With an overload on the opposite flank, it was the perfect moment for Messi to deliver one of those crossfield passes to feet that he manages with military precision.
Almost cut out by the covering defender, that’s the nearest any Sevilla player would get to the ball. In the next few seconds, we were mesmerised by the Barca of old. The Barca that we know and love. The Barca that has regularly been missing under Ernesto Valverde.
The shackles were off.
Vidal-Suarez-Pique-Suarez-Alba-Messi - six passes in just six seconds that carved what is a very capable Sevilla side apart.
At the point our captain fired into the net, the Andalusians had seven players in the box and one just on the edge of the D, and all they could do was stand and watch. And admire.
When Barcelona play football like that, they still truly have no equal. Setting standards that others can only aspire to.
It underscored a great night’s work which began with a penalty from the much-maligned Philippe Coutinho.
Barça's Coutinho after Sevilla brace: I needed a game like that https://t.co/dMQmec1wlL— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) January 30, 2019
He needed that goal - courtesy of Messi’s deference - and very typically, with a little confidence restored, the Brazilian went on to score another and produce the type of performance that we know he’s capable of.
A ninth successive Copa semi-final berth was richly deserved.