Down by two objectives with two minutes left, Barcelona lastly confirmed the character of a champion once more.
Lionel Messi helped arrange two late objectives to drive additional time, and Barcelona went on to beat Granada 5-3 on Wednesday to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals — giving followers hope that the membership gained’t go two straight seasons and not using a trophy.
“It was incredible. Losing 2-0 and showing that kind of mentality was incredible,” mentioned Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, whose staff is struggling within the Spanish league. “Maybe this is a turning point in the season. The character showed by the team is something to be proud of.”
Barcelona trailed 2-0 going into the 88th minute earlier than Messi helped create objectives for Antoine Griezmann and Jordi Alba because the Catalan membership stored alive its likelihood of ending its title drought.
There had been extra swings in additional time as Griezmann’s agency header within the one hundredth minute put Barcelona forward, however a penalty dedicated by American defender Sergiño Dest led to Fede Vico’s equalizer for the hosts three minutes later.
Frenkie de Jong put Barcelona forward for good from shut vary after Messi’s shot was saved within the 108th. Alba closed the scoring with a stupendous volley from Griezmann’s cross within the 113th.
“We suffered a lot,” mentioned Griezmann, one of many gamers of the match together with Messi and Alba. “Thankfully Frenkie showed up in the end.”
The victory got here on the heels of the embarrassing leak of Messi’s multimillion-dollar contract on Sunday, the newest mess involving the membership which is mired in debt and has been enduring political turmoil since final season.
Barcelona failed to win a title final season, which hadn’t occurred since 2007-2008. It was eradicated within the quarterfinals of the Copa final yr to finish a streak of 9 consecutive semifinal appearances.
Granada’s late collapse value the staff an opportunity to make it to the semifinals for a second straight season.
Barcelona had already wanted additional time to advance previous third-division membership Cornellá within the spherical of 32. It additionally performed additional time in each Spanish Super Cup matches this yr — a win towards Real Sociedad within the semifinals and a loss to Athletic Bilbao within the closing.
Robert Kenedy opened the scoring for the hosts from shut vary within the thirty third after a blunder by Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, who misplayed a ball inside the world. Former Real Madrid ahead Roberto Soldado, 35, added to the lead on a breakaway within the forty seventh, outrunning Umtiti to an extended cross from the again.
Francisco Trincão and Ousmane Dembélé each struck the crossbar within the second half earlier than Griezmann pulled the Catalan membership nearer with an angled shot from an extended cross by Messi within the 88th. Messi once more discovered Griezmann inside the world with a well-placed cross, and the French striker arrange Alba’s late equalizer two minutes into stoppage time.
LEVANTE WIN LATE
Roger Martí scored a One hundred and twentieth-minute winner as Levante defeated Villarreal 1-0 in additional time to reach the semifinals for the primary time in 86 years.
Levante hadn’t made it to the ultimate 4 since 1935, when it was eradicated by Sabadell, at present within the second division.
Unai Emery’s Villarreal, which dominated many of the match, additionally was making an attempt to reach the semifinals for the second time in its historical past.
Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid had been eradicated in earlier rounds this season.
On Tuesday, Sevilla grew to become the primary staff to reach the final 4 with a win at second-division membership Almería. Real Betis and Athletic meet within the final semifinal on Thursday.