Barça beats Sevilla to take Copa del Rey title

May 23, 2016

Yesterday evening driving north out of Barcelona we could see the traffic heading south was gridlocked for around 40 kilometres. People who had gone away for the weekend had all headed home from the Costa Brava and the mountains at the same time. And as a result motorway traffic into the Catalan capital just didn’t move. It was the worst I can remember seeing it and was pretty sure they wouldn’t be seeing the match.

At the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, both teams went out looking for a win. It was a tough match right from the start but when Mascherano was sent off ten minutes before the break things were looking pretty shaky for Barça. All the same, when Luis Suarez limped off the pitch early in the second half with a hamstring injury the Catalans continued to push. But by the end of 90 minutes the match remained goalless and for both team and supporters it was a relief when Banega was shown a red card in injury time. At least the last half hour would be ten against ten.

Seven minutes into extra time though and finally Barcelona finally scored. Jordi Alba ran to reach Leo Messi’s pass and put it into the net. Finally the deadlock was over. But as the clock counted down towards the final whistle it was looking increasingly as if that Barça would have make do with that single goal. However, in injury time Carrico Martins was first shown a yellow and then a red for protesting. Immediately after Neymar scored off Messi’s second assist of the night and the match ended 2-0.

It was a hard fought match by both teams, but some of the refereeing decisions were terrible. Generally I try not to be too hard on referees as they do a tough job and some mistakes are inevitable. However the ref last night was a joke. At one stage Neymar was booked after he had been fouled. And the referee went from not punishing players one moment to heavy handedness the next. I know he had to do a fair amount of running too, but to see him stop the match for a couple of minutes to have his thighs massaged was ridiculous.

Anyway, that complaint aside, the match was a great result for FC Barcelona. The match was nail-biting to watch throughout but all those people who were stuck in traffic earlier that evening should have found the journey worthwhile. Some time after getting home I checked traffic conditions into Barcelona. Miraculously it had cleared.

1-0 Alba (min 97)
2-0 Neymar (min 120+)

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