MADRID : Ten-man Barcelona retained the King's Cup with a 2-0 victory over Sevilla to complete a domestic double thanks to extra-time goals by Jordi Alba and Neymar at the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Yesterday Luis Enrique's La Liga champions had Javier Mascherano sent off in the 36th minute but kept the score at 0-0 before Sevilla had Ever Banega dismissed in added time at the end of 90 minutes.
With both teams down to 10 men, Barcelona began to take control in the extra period and left back Alba burst down the wing to score in the 97th after a superb defence-splitting chip from Lionel Messi.
Sevilla were then reduced to nine players when defender Daniel Carrico was sent off for dissent late on and Neymar doubled Barcelona's lead after also being set up by Messi. "It has been really great.
It was tough and we had to dig deep. It has been a magnificent season," said Barca captain Andres Iniesta. It was the 28th time Barca had won the trophy but they had to battle after Mascherano's red card as Unai Emery's side, who won the Europa League for the third time in a row last week by beating Liverpool, piled on the pressure. But Barca, who lost top scorer Luis Suarez to injury just before the hour mark, stubbornly refused to cave in and eventually came out on top in a tense, spiky encounter.
Suarez had wasted a good early chance after Andres Iniesta, who was Barcelona's best player, fed him, while at the other end Coke miskicked the ball to spurn an opening himself. DYNAMIC CHANGES The game's dynamic changed drastically when Kevin Gameiro, whose pace troubled Barca all night, was brought down when Mascherano grabbed his shirt on the edge of the box. Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande sent the Argentine off and Sevilla began to take control. Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen tipped Banega's free kick over the bar and then watched the midfielder's next effort hit the inside of the post. Suarez then limped off after stretching for the ball and picking up what looked like a hamstring injury, with the Uruguayan crying on the bench as he watched his team mates struggle without him.
Sevilla wanted a penalty when Barca right back Dani Alves tangled with Vicente Iborra but their appeal was waved away, while Sergio Rico saved Messi's free-kick. Argentine Banega tripped Neymar just before the game went to extra-time and was sent off, handing Barcelona the momentum.Seven minutes into extra time, Messi lofted a perfectly weighted ball over the defence for Alba who ran through and fired a shot across Rico into the bottom corner.Then Carrico was shown two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Messi and the second for arguing about it, before Messi played in Neymar, who rolled the ball home to end the contest.