The Barcelona footballers did much more than lift a 2-0 win over Sevilla in the first leg that will allow them to play in the Cup final. They denied all those leaders who made shameless the club’s raison d’être. The ball does not get dirty. Ter Stegen avoided the funeral at the Camp Nou. Piqué’s goal in 94 had the emotional impact of Sergio Ramos’ header in Lisbon. He celebrated it with bloodshot eyes and in front of the camera as if he wanted to emulate Maradona’s exorcism in the 1994 World Cup. And fate would have it that Braithwaite, blessed metaphor of this time, whoever settled the Barça classification in extra time when the Andalusians already had to live with one less man. Barça won heaven. Narration and statistics (3-0)
Bartomeu did everything he could to drag Barcelona into absolute misery. Sporty, economic, moral, what difference does it make. He was still sleeping soundly while his henchmen hatched lists of enemies to defame. Such an effort led the former president to test the mattress in the cell. From his home, however, he may have been able to see a team emerge from the rubble that has chosen to rebel against the embarrassing behavior of their former foremen. There was no more to see Koeman in the band. Standing and proud of the behavior of some footballers who honored their craft.
The first act of Barcelona was already wonderful. And not because Sevilla did not stand up. Not much less. Simply, the Catalans understood that, beyond trying to lift the tie, they should enjoy. In life, it is enjoyed when one is liberated when one is brave on the scaffold. Pedri does not play as a child who trusts everything to a baroque action that grants him praise, but as the veteran genius who hypnotizes his rival with a feint. In Pedri, you can guess those traits that made Iniesta a footballer like no other. It was precisely the canary who left Fernando in Babia with a turn that left the midfielder nailed in misunderstanding. What followed was completely unexpected. Or maybe not so much with Dembélé in charge of the endpoint.
The French are messy, chaotic, and incomprehensible footballers. That is why it causes addiction. Nothing attracts more than things we don’t understand. Dembélé began to dribble stumbly in the area without the defenders knowing what to do to take away a ball that refused to move away from his domain. Instead of running forward, Dembélé ran backward. He thus gained a few meters and made his three defenders believe that it was all over. Until all of them discovered that Dembélé was preparing his masterpiece. On foot, with that execution that transferred the memory to Ronaldinho’s heavenly touch at Stamford Bridge, the most Guadian player in the world nailed the ball into the squad. The immensity of the Camp Nou sent a cry of blessing to those present.
That first goal, which had come in full harassment from Barcelona, far from intimidating Sevilla. Commendable was the effort of Acuna, who scored a goal from Messi under sticks. Jordan was growing in the wide-area despite Messi’s efforts, while Koundé and Diego Carlos began to grow upfront.
Koeman sensed that the 3-5-2 that worked so well for him in the league at the Pizjuán was losing efficiency as the energy of his players ran out. Lopetegui saw it, insatiable with the board, who took advantage of Aleix Vidal’s injury at the beginning of the second act to make a triple change. Rakitic, Rekik, and Jesús Navas had to allow to obtain superiorities in the axis. And also in attack, with the irruption after Ocampos. Koeman did not sit idly by, who also intervened. He rescued the 4-3-3 and gave Griezmann a new opportunity. He got it right.
The final stretch was psychological hell. Alba almost smashed the crossbar with a guillotine in the area. Ocampos had the sentence. Mingueza, all faith, shot him down in the area. However, the Argentine met Ter Stegen in his messianic role. Lopetegui was raging while demanding the expulsion of the Barça youth squad, who already had a yellow card. The Catalans saw the light. Sevilla, already a wreck, fear embedded in his body. He sensed the worst with the expulsion of Fernando in 93, a preamble to Griezmann’s sweet center to which Piqué responded with the header that led the night to extra time. Lopetegui only saw the entrance to the slaughterhouse. Braithwaite looked for Alba’s pass as if his life depended on that goal. And a rebound in the hand of Lenglet that was not a penalty ended up unsettling a Sevilla that ran into an unexpected rival. The heart of Barça.