Both sides are still in the fight for European glory but off the pace in La Liga, so the Copa is the best chance either have of winning silverware this season.
First advantage went to Sevilla. Julen Lopetegui‘s men secured an impressive 2-0 victory, scoring either side of half-time to ensure that Barcelona returned to Catalonia empty-handed. They were competent, controlled and ruthless.
The game started competitively, with Sevilla taking the lead inside the opening half-hour through Jules Kounde. The French centre back dribbled past Samuel Umtiti before finishing coolly.
Sevilla doubled their lead heading into the final five minutes, with ex-Barcelona man Ivan Rakitic scoring to give his club a valuable two-goal cushion that could come in handy come the second leg. Not that the Croatian was going to get carried away.
“Barcelona are a team that has a lot of talent and a lot of ability to hurt you,” Rakitic said post-game in comments carried by Mundo Deportivo. “It won’t be easy.”
“But we’ve gotten together very, very well, waiting for our moment. And in the end it came and we’ve put together an interesting result, a very positive one for us.
“The important thing is to enjoy tonight, for all the Sevillistas to enjoy this moment. We must be happy as a team, but also be aware that it will be difficult there [at Camp Nou], because we’re going to play against one of the best teams.”