Lionel Messi believes Barcelona on Thursday showed their appetite for the Copa del Rey by blowing away Sevilla 6-1 to pull off a brilliant comeback and book their place in the semi-finals.
Sevilla had won the first leg 2-0, but their lead was wiped out within 31 minutes at the Camp Nou when Philippe Coutinho scored a penalty, deferred to him by Messi, before Ivan Rakitic poked in a second.
Ever Banega had squandered the chance to level for Sevilla by missing his own spot-kick and Barca ran riot in the second half.
Coutinho headed in his second and Sergi Roberto added a fourth, only for Guilherme Arana to give Sevilla brief hope.
Luis Suarez then scored and Messi wrapped up the win following a superb counterattack.
Some had suggested Barcelona would be relieved to exit the Copa del Rey to focus fully on La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, but Messi said that their display had silenced the doubters.
“It was said that we had given up in the cup, that we didn’t want it,” Messi said. “But in no way is this the case. This team wants to fight for all three titles, as is the obligation of Barca every year.”
Barcelona are no strangers to these sort of revivals, but against Sevilla, who sit fourth in La Liga and have been one of their closest challengers this season, it was particularly impressive.
The defending champions are into the last four for the ninth consecutive year and edging closer to a historic fifth consecutive Copa del Rey title.
They join Valencia and Real Betis Balompie in the semis after Betis had earlier needed extra time to beat RCD Espanyol 3-1, 4-2 on aggregate, while Valencia knocked out Getafe on Tuesday.
Real Madrid could fill the last spot. They carried a 4-2 lead into their second leg yesterday against Girona.
Ernesto Valverde had rested players at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, but he fielded almost his strongest lineup in the return.
Messi, left out last week, was back in the starting lineup, along with Suarez, Jordi Alba and Coutinho. Jasper Cillessen kept his place in goal ahead of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
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