Copa Del Rey 2018/19, Barcelona 6-1 Sevilla: 5 Talking Points
Barcelona crushed Sevilla 6-1 at the Camp Nou to wipe out the two-goal deficit from the first leg and canter into a ninth consecutive Copa Del Rey semi-finals.
Philippe Coutinho bagged a brace, as Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi too all got on the scoresheet in a second-half blitzkrieg that completely eclipsed Arana Lopes' spectacular volley which was the only consolation for Sevilla.
The Andalusian outfit were rigid and robust in the first-half - although Ever Banega's penalty miss was an outlier event- but lost the plot completely after the break, letting the hosts strike four times in that period and blow the first-leg advantage out of water.
Sevilla must be kicking themselves for letting such an opportunity pass, whereas Barcelona can now smell a fifth consecutive League Cup. Here are the major talking points.
#1 Barcelona do what's written on the tin
This was never in doubt, was it? The Blaugrana, after a poor first-leg in Seville, knew they had to respond resoundingly to avoid a humiliating cup exit. And respond resoundingly they did, taking the game to the visitors with a fast start.
Manager Ernesto Valverde played his strongest line-up - as expected - and Barcelona wasted no time in taking the initiative. With Rakitic and Arthur manning the midfield with a string of passes, Messi ran the show upfront with his buccaneering runs, also letting Suarez and Coutinho trouble the Sevilla defense no end.
The result was a penalty early on, which the Brazilian duly converted, before Rakitic caught the visitors cold and tapped home the easiest of finishes. Sevilla's two-goal lead was turned to dust inside 45 minutes, and knew they are in for a long second-half as Barcelona completely annihilate the game after the break.