MADRID: Barcelona’s hopes of winning the Copa del Rey this season face a threat after Sevilla won 2-0 in the first leg of the semi-finals.
Jules Kounde improved his reputation as one of the world’s best central defenders with a great goal in Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan before Ivan Rakitic hit his former club with a second goal.
The 22-year-old Kounde dribbled Barca’s three defenders and exploded into the corner while Rakitic’s goal made it difficult for Ronald Koeman’s squad to find a place in the final.
The winners of the clash will meet either Athletic Bilbao or Levante, who play their first semi-finals early tomorrow morning.
“The decision was a little unfair, it was too much for them,” Koeman said. “The second match will be more complicated at 2-0 but we still have a chance and we will continue. At home, this team can do anything.”
Koeman described the trophy as Barcelona’s ‘shortest path’ to grab the trophy this season, but Kounde’s performance could dampen confidence ahead of next week’s meeting with Paris Saint-Germain.
Barca will face PSG at the Camp Nou in the first round of the last 16 of the Champions League early next Wednesday morning.