European roundup: Sevilla beat Barça in cup first-leg as Neymar injured for PSG

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  • Sevilla win 2-0 in first leg of Copa del Rey semi-final
  • Neymar suffers injury before Champions League tie

Sevilla’s Jules Koundé opens the scoring against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey. Photograph: Julio Munoz/EPA

Reuters

Sevilla defender Jules Koundé scored an extraordinary solo goal and Ivan Rakitic struck against his old side in a 2-0 win over Barcelona in a Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

French centre back Koundé opened the scoring in the 25th minute, dribbling from his own area and playing a one-two with a team mate before bursting past four Barça players to confidently slot past Marc-André ter Stegen.

The Barça keeper made a superb save to prevent Sergio Escudero doubling Sevilla’s lead at the end of the first half but Croatia midfielder Rakitic made sure of the victory with a thumping finish into the roof of the net in the 85th minute.

Barça felt they should have been awarded a penalty at 1-0 down when Jordi Alba was tripped on the edge of the area but referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz gave a free kick without checking with the VAR whether the foul had taken place inside the box.

“Everyone has told me it was a penalty,” said Barca coach Ronald Koeman. “They made a lot of fouls but clever fouls and they defended very well. I think we deserved more, we played well and created a lot of chances. I think it’s a harsh result for us given what we did on the pitch.”

French Cup holders PSG reached the last 32 of the competition with a 1-0 win at Ligue 2 side Caen on Wednesday but Neymar suffered a possible groin injury six days before their Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona. PSG will already be without the injured Ángel Di María for the Barcelona game.

Moise Kean scored the only goal early in the second half before Neymar limped off the pitch just after the hour, raising concerns about his participation in the clash against his former club at the Camp Nou.

“There’s something with his adductor (muscle). It will be checked by the medical staff tomorrow,” coach Mauricio Pochettino told a news conference. “We don’t know what it is, we’ll know more tomorrow. We can’t say anything before he’s been examined tomorrow.”

Neymar went down after a robust challenge from Steeve Yago in the 56th minute, holding his left thigh as he left the field to be replaced by Kylian Mbappé.

Elsewhere, Marseille ended a seven-game winless streak as they beat Ligue 2 team Auxerre 2-0 away and Ligue 1 leaders Lille sneaked through with a 1-0 victory at Dijon.

In Italy, Matteo Pessina scored twice as Atalanta knocked holders Napoli out of the Coppa Italia with a 3-1 victory to set up a final against Juventus.

After a goalless draw in the first leg, Duvan Zapata smashed in an unstoppable early shot and Pessina swept home the second inside the opening 16 minutes. Napoli came to life after the break and pulled one back through Hirving Lozano before Pessina’s dinked finish 12 minutes ended the contest.

After another loss and with a league game against in-form Juventus up next on Saturday, Gattuso was asked if the next match could be his last chance.

“I don*t know, you’ll need to ask the club,” he said. “I’m the captain of the ship, and when things go badly it’s at the expense of the captain. I can*t think about if this is the penultimate or last chance, I need to work and I must manage to give confidence. I’m a coach, it can happen. I won’t be the first or the last, but I have a duty to keep trying until the end.”

 

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