Barcelona Copa Del Rey trophy 2016
Barcelona players pose with the Copa Del Rey trophy after beating Sevilla in the final, May 22, 2016.Reuters

Barcelona showed fight after they went down to ten men against Sevilla, and then, when the match finally became even again, their quality, led by the vision of Lionel Messi, shone through, giving the La Liga champions a second consecutive double. Up against it, after a Javier Mascherano red card ten minutes from halftime, Barcelona had to battle really hard to see off Sevilla 2-0 after extra time and lift the Copa Del Rey title for the second time running.

The Spanish champions, after a test opening 30 minutes, were staring down the barrel when Javier Mascherano was given a straight red card for pulling down Kevin Gameiro when he was through on goal, and from there, it was all about staying compact, showing their defensive nous, while looking to hit Sevilla, in confident mood after defeating Liverpool to clinch their third straight Europa League title, on the counter, courtesy their three superstars – Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

However, in the second half, Barca were dealt another blow, when Suarez felt a hamstring go, and had to be substituted, with the striker now a doubt for the Copa America Centenario next month.

After holding on till nearly the end of the 90 minutes, Barcelona, who sealed the La Liga title last weekend, were given an opportunity to stamp their authority on the match, when Ever Banega, who had previously forced a top save from Marc Andre Ter Stegen and struck the post, was given his marching orders for a similar offence to the one that saw Mascherano leaving the pitch as early as the 35th minute.

With the match back level in terms of personnel, Barcelona grew in confidence, and when Jordi Alba finished off a sumptuous pass from Messi in the seventh minute of extra time, the result looked inevitable.

It only seemed even more likely when Daniel Carrico was given a red card for a challenge on Messi, with the Argentine then setting up Neymar for the icing on the cake.

"It was a spectacular end to the season," Barcelona manager Luis Enrique told the club's official website. "Not only for the last few must-win league games but because of how the Cup final unfolded. Very difficult, down a man. We played perfectly, much improved on the defensive end.

"Sevilla created a lot of pressure. We defended very well and the team knew how to compete despite the difficulties. I congratulate them, I congratulate all Barca fans and those who came."

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