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Barca Beat Sevilla To Retain Copa Del Rey

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Image Credit: AP/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

Barcelona defeated Sevilla 2-0 in extra-time, to win the Copa Del Rey for a record 28th time, at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Sunday night.

Both teams were reduced to 10-men before Jordi Alba scored seven minutes into extra time and Neymar sealed the victory late to gift the La-Liga Champions a second straight Copa del Rey title.

Earlier in the week, the final was overshadowed by a political feud triggered when authorities in Madrid tried to stop Catalan fans from displaying the Estelada, a flag that has come to symbolize Catalonia’s push for independence from the rest of Spain.

The flag ban, however, was overruled on Friday by a judge in Madrid, and Barcelona’s fans filled their half of the stadium with Esteladas. In addition, helping to defuse the tension, the two teams took to the field by forming a guard of honor for each other, celebrating their recent trophies.

Javier Mascherano’s sending off and Luis Suarez’s withdrawal with a hamstring injury gave Unai Emery’s side a bit of confidence, but they were not able to replicate Wednesday’s second-half emphatic display at the Europa League final success against Liverpool.

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Image Credit: AP/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

However, Lionel Messi took center stage to assist both goals, first he put Alba through with an almost perfect pass to open the scoring in the 97th minute, before setting up Neymar to seal the victory at the closing stages.

Sevilla’s Daniel Carrico also saw red to add to reduce the Andalusian side to 9-men.

“It’s a great way to end the season,” said Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta. “It was a wonderful season. We continued to add to the club’s history.”

“Winning this title makes for a magnificent season,” added the Barcelona captain.

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However the unforgettable moment of the night was when Messi kissed his wife Antonella Roccuzzo to celebrate victory.

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Image Credit: AP/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

“It was a spectacular end to the season,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. “Not only because of how we won the league, but also because of how we won this final, when we had to play a man down for a long time. The players couldn’t have shown more character.”

By winning the Copa del Rey, Barcelona secured another domestic double, a week after winning La Liga and Sevilla failing to win its sixth Copa title and first since 2010, after winning the Europa League on Wednesday.

“Despite this loss, we end the season with our heads up,” Sevilla coach Unai Emery said.