With a dominant 6-1 goal-fest, FC Barcelona was able to turn the result around against Sevilla on Lionel Messi’s return to action at Camp Nou.
After FC Barcelona lost their first Copa del Rey leg against Sevilla without Lionel Messi on the roster, all the Catalan club’s supporters were eager to watch the Argentine play the return match at Camp Nou and confirm that they really do have him at the top of his game.
It’s not only what the little man can do in regards of providing goals or assists, the whole squad functions at a different speed when he is playing on the pitch and today was the clear proof that this Barcelona side is one of the best in the world when Messi is in top form.
Sevilla did what they could to prevent a debacle, but Leo was simply too much for them throughout the whole 90 minutes at Camp Nou.
When you play against Barcelona in two matches and you get to play the first leg at your own stadium, you better score at least four goals against the Catalan club because Messi will almost always destroy you at his own house.
The man started the festival by getting knocked down inside the box and conceding a penalty for his side, but he decided to let Philippe Coutinho take the shot from the spot so he could gain more confidence.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 30, 2019
With a 1-0 advantage and still 75 minutes left to play, Barcelona was already on its way to a magical night in front of their crowd.
Just a minute past the first half hour, Arthur Melo saw an opening where Ivan Rakitic made the move forward for an assist between the lines and scored the second goal of the evening.
With the aggregate already equalized, the Catalan club went to the dressing rooms thinking that they would actually get the next-round ticket with very few problems at their own stadium.
Just a few minutes after the second half started, Luis Suarez got involved in the game by assisting Philippe Coutinho with a low cross straight to his head and got Barcelona’s third goal of the evening.
Things were turning up quite easy for the Catalan club, but Messi was yet to get involved in the party.
The Argentine became part of the celebration with another pass between the lines for Sergi Roberto, the Catalan player was able to finish the play with a well-placed shot for his side’s fourth goal.
But this momentary result was a double-edged sword against Barcelona because a goal from Sevilla would get the Andalusian squad back in the game, they got it through Ghilherme Arana after an Ever Banega assist.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 30, 2019
After Sevilla’s goal the ghosts from past seasons started emerging, the people at Camp Nou were starting to get nervous and a reaction was needed from the club’s biggest stars.
Manager Ernesto Valverde was able to give the squad the reaction it needed with the substitutions he made in the last 15 minutes of the match.
The boss gave Arturo Vidal a chance to play and took Ivan Rakitic out, he also took Coutinho out in order to give Semedo some minutes, and he finally granted Carles Aleña his chance by taking Arthur out of the game in the final minutes of the match.
The wagers paid off, Luis Suarez scored the fifth goal of the evening in a counter-attack after Jordi Alba assisted him.
But the cherry on top was destined for Messi, the Argentine finished a gorgeous collective effort in which several Barcelona players participated and the star of the evening was the one who closed the night with his side’s sixth goal.
The Catalan club qualifies to the Copa del Rey semifinals in spectacular fashion, any club that meets them there should be very afraid of their impressive level of performance they have reached by this stage of the season.
But there is one thing that cannot be denied, Barcelona is one squad with Messi and a completely different one without him.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 30, 2019
What do you think about FC Barcelona’s goal-fest against Sevilla this evening in Copa del Rey? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.