Barcelona on Wednesday needed extra-time to reach the Copa del Rey final, with a 3-2 aggregate win over Sevilla coming just two days after a police raid on the club and the arrest of their former president.
Having trailed 2-0 from the first leg, Denmark international Martin Braithwaite hit the crucial goal in the fifth minute of extra-time with a diving header off a Jordi Alba cross.
Gerard Pique had equalized in the fourth minute of stoppage-time with virtually the last play of the match to save Barcelona.
The veteran defender headed in at the near post after a fine cross from Antoine Griezmann.
That was after Ousmane Dembele, who scored in the 2-0 win at Sevilla in La Liga at the weekend, had given the 30-time Copa del Rey winners a 12th-minute lead in the second leg with a right-foot drive from outside the penalty area.
Sevilla could have killed the game off in the 73rd minute to deny Barcelona their place in the final for a 42nd time.
They were awarded a penalty when Lucas Ocampos was brought down by Oscar Mingueza, but Ocampos saw his tame right-foot effort from the penalty spot saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Flagging Sevilla were then reduced to 10 men in stoppage-time when Fernando was red-carded for a foul on Francisco Trincao.
“The team deserved to qualify,” Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said. “This is an important step in earning a title.”
It was a much-needed win for Barcelona after former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, chief executive Oscar Grau, head of legal services Roma Gomez Ponti and Bartomeu’s advisor, Jaume Masferrer, were arrested by Catalan police, who searched the club’s offices on Monday morning.
They were all questioned in relation to last year’s “Barcagate” scandal.
The club holds its presidential elections later this week.
The search of Barcelona’s stadium was part of a probe into allegations the club carried out a defamation campaign against current and former players who were critical of Bartomeu.
Barcelona next face either Athletic Bilbao or Levante UD, who are 1-1 in their semi-final, in the final on April 17 in Seville.
However, before that, Barcelona are to attempt another comeback effort when they take on Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie next week.
Barcelona trail 4-1 from the first leg.
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