Barcelona got a tough draw against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semifinals as Ronald Koeman chased his first trophy since being appointed head coach.
The two-game tie will be a repeat of the teams’ memorable encounter in the quarterfinals two years ago, when Sevilla won 2-0 at home before being thrashed 6-1 at the Camp Nou.
Koeman, who took over last August, saw his team beaten 3-2 in the Spanish Super Cup final to Athletic Bilbao in January and Lionel Messi sent off in extra time.
That trophy eluded him, but the Dutch coach will hope for a better result for Barcelona when the Copa del Rey enters its final stages.
This week he came close to being eliminated in the quarter-finals by Granada, saved by goals in regulation by Antoine Griezmann and Jordi Alba before winning 5-3 in extra time.
Facing Sevilla will surely not be an easy task, as Barça, second in LaLiga, is just one point behind Julen Lopetegui’s team.
The first legs of each tie will be played next midweek, with the return games to be played on the first midweek in March, with exact dates for each match to be determined.
Barcelona holds the record for the most Copa del Rey titles, having won the competition 30 times, with Athletic next on the list with 23 wins.