SunstarTV Bureau: Taking advantage of a quiet game from Lionel Messi in his 900th career match, Sevilla defeated Barcelona 2-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.
Messi squandered a couple of chances as Sevilla won its eighth consecutive match in all competitions on Wednesday thanks to a goal by Jules Kound in the first half and another by former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic near the end.
This time, in his 900th match, Lionel Messi didn’t have an answer for Sevilla.
Messi had a quiet performance in his milestone match against the team he punished the most in his career, and Barcelona lost 2-0 in Seville in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday.
Messi has scored more goals against Sevilla than against any other team — 37 in 41 games — but the Argentine great squandered a couple of chances as Sevilla won its eighth consecutive match in all competitions. Jules Koundé scored in the first half and former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic added the second near the end
The second leg will be on Feb. 27 at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona. Athletic Bilbao hosts Levante on Thursday in the first leg of the other semifinal.
“There is still hope,” Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said. “It will be complicated, but this team is capable of anything.”
Sevilla and Barcelona entered the semis as the hottest teams in Spain. The Catalan club was coming off six straight wins in all competitions.