Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has issued an apology to the club’s fans after partying following the defeat to Barcelona at the weekend.
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.
“I want to apologise to the Sevilla fans,” N’Zonzi said after the game in a video on social media.
“I made a mistake because I went out after the game. It’s difficult for everyone, us too. We’re not happy with what we did yesterday.
“People must understand that it’s also difficult mentally for a player as we play every three days. For example, I live alone, I’m always alone at home, I go to training, come back, rest, have a siesta, while being always at home…
“Yesterday I had my family and friends with me and I went out because I think the most important thing is health. If you’re in good health, life doesn’t go badly for you.
“Yesterday was difficult for us all, the fans, ourselves, but people must understand. We got to the Final and we’ll keep going until the end of the season.
“I prefer the fans to say I didn’t play well over me going out yesterday. People must understand that we have lives too, and it’s difficult to stay focused and think only about football.
“I understand that I made a mistake, and for this I’m sorry to the Sevilla fans. I’m going to keep working hard and fighting on the pitch.”