Vincenzo Montella has offered an apology to Sevilla’s fans after his side were thumped by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
The La Liga leaders took less than quarter of an hour to open the scoring with a goal that was the definition of route one. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen set Philippe Coutinho free with a long punt up field with the Brazilian squaring to Luis Suarez to tap Barcelona into the lead.
Steven Nzonzi spurned a good chance when he fluffed his lines from Jesus Navas’ pass and the Andalucians were made to pay when moments after Andres Iniesta’s deflected shot struck the bar, Lionel Messi made it two.
Jordi Alba and Iniesta played a one-two on the left of the box and when Navas failed to clear, Alba backheeled the ball to Messi to slam high into the roof of the net.
Suarez added his second and Barca’s third five minutes before half time when he raced onto Messi’s through ball before slotting coolly beyond David Soria.
Andres Iniesta was playing his last ever cup final for Barcelona with the club captain set for a move to Chongqing Dangdai Lifan in the Chinese Super League at the end of the season and it was he who added number four.
After playing the ball to Messi, the midfielder continued his run into the box onto the end of Messi’s pass before feinting to pass wrong-footing Soria allowing him to fire the ball into the net.
Suarez then dinked the ball through to Coutinho who found the back of the net but the referee awarded a penalty to Barca instead due to a handball by Clement Lenglet in the build up.
Lionel Messi left penalty duties to the former Liverpool man on this occasion and he made no mistake as he sent Soria the wrong way from the spot.
“Barca had a formidable game and when they play like that, it’s difficult to combat them,” Montell said after the game.
“After the first goal, we had two or three chances to equalise and after every time they got to our box… They have some truly formidable players, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez…
“A case of mission impossible? Nothing’s impossible. We tried, but it was very difficult. Barca were better and we have to accept it.
“I’m very sorry to the fans, who supported us until the final whistle. Now we have to end our League campaign in Europe and get back to work with mental strength.
“We have to end the season well. Reaching a Final in Spain is very difficult and we did it, reaching the Champions League quarter-finals too.
“Now we have to end the season in the best way possible so we can play in the Europa League next year.”