Barcelona produced a stirring comeback to beat Sevilla 6-1 at the Camp Nou in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final and progress to the last four 6-3 on aggregate.
Ernesto Valverde named a strong team for the game as his team started 2-0 down. Back came Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack with Philippe Coutinho and Carles Alena also in the line-up.
The first half was a frantic affair with Barca going for it, and Sevilla looking a real threat on the counter-attack as we all expected.
The hosts were gifted the opening goal on 13 minutes after Lionel Messi went down in the penalty area following a challenge from Quincy Promes, and the hosts were awarded a spot-kick.
Messi handed over penalty-taking duties to Philippe Coutinho, and he made no mistake with a well-taken low shot into the corner that beat a diving Juan Soriano.
Barca then needed Jasper Cillessen to be at his very best to keep out Sevilla. First he denied Andre Silva with a superb save and then went one better by saving Ever Banega’s penalty.
The action then switched down the other end with Ivan Rakitic doubling Barca’s lead after a brilliant ball in from Arthur. The Croatia latched on to the pass and just nudged it past an on rushing Soriano.
The second half continued in a similar vein with Barcelona on the attack, and it paid off as they scored twice in quick succession to take charge of the tie.
Coutinho grabbed his second of the night from a Luis Suarez cross on 53 minutes before Sergi Roberto finished off a nice move with Barca’s fourth a minute later.
Coutinho thought he had bagged his hat-trick shortly afterwards only to see his effort correctly ruled out for offside.
Barca were on top but were given a scare with a little over 20 minutes remaining when Guilherme Arana smashed home a shot to give the visitors hope.
Messi should have put the game out of reach with Barca’s fifth after good work by Suarez, but for some reason he waited too long before shooting which allowed Sevilla to block.
The goals made for a nervy finish at the Camp Nou, until Suarez made the game safe with just a minute of normal time remaining.
A quick break forwards saw Jordi Alba cross for the Uruguayan to finish from close range at the far post.
There was still, somehow, time for more goals with Messi finishing off another slick counter to net Barca’s sixth goal and secure semi-final spot. Phew!
Barcelona: Cillessen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic (Vidal), Busquets, Arthur (Alena); Messi, Suárez, Coutinho (Semedo).
Goals: Coutinho (13’, 53’ Rakitic 31’, Roberto 54’, Suarez 89’, Messi 92)
Sevilla: Soriano; Carriço, Kjaer, Gómez; Promes, Roque Mesa (Vazquez), Amadou, Banega (Ben Yedder), Arana (Gil); Sarabia, André Silva.
Goal: Arana (67’)