Kevin Gameiro recovered from a saved penalty to score twice as Sevilla took a huge step towards the Copa del Rey final with a 4-0 first-leg victory over Celta Vigo on Thursday.
Barcelona all-but secured their progression to the final with Wednesday’s 7-0 hammering of Valencia and, despite seeing a first-half penalty saved, Gameiro’s brace after the break ensured five-time winners Sevilla look set to meet the holdersin the end-of-season showpiece.
Unai Emery’s men dominated the early stages before Gameiro’s spot-kick was saved by Ruben Blanco 28 minutes in.
Sergi Gomez’s header struck the Sevilla woodwork soon after but the hosts recovered and led at the break courtesy of Adil Rami’s powerful header.
Gameiro then made amends for his penalty miss with two calm finishes in three second-half minutes either side of the hour before Michael Krohn-Dehli scored in similar fashion against his former club late on to bolster Sevilla’s hopes of a first Copa final appearance since winning the competition in 2010.
Amid a frenetic start in Seville, Timothee Kolodziejczak twice went close with early headers before Steven N’Zonzi’s looping header evaded Celta goalkeeper Blanco only to roll wide.
The hosts remained on top but spurned an opportunity to open the scoring when Gomez dragged Vitolo to the ground inside the area.
But Blanco saved Gameiro’s penalty down to his left and Celta almost punished the missed opportunity when Gomez’s header rattled the Sevilla crossbar soon after.
Fabian Orellana also went close with a driven effort from inside the area before Rami eventually broke the deadlock.
Ever Banega’s corner was swung in from the right and Rami brushed off two Celta defenders to head past Blanco in the last action of the half.
Celta had a glorious opportunity to level shortly after the restart when Gustavo Cabral tamely prodded the ball at Sergio Rico from close range following Iago Aspas’ hooked delivery.
Rami – seeking a second before the hour mark – was cautioned for using his hand to try and score before the lively Banega saw a free-kick saved by Blanco.
But Gameiro fully atoned for his penalty error to put Sevilla firmly in control of the tie with a quickfire brace either side of the hour.
Having latched on to Krohn-Dehli’s lofted pass, the Frenchman finished one-on-one past Blanco before coolly beating the Celta goalkeeper again soon after.
Banega was the provider for Gameiro’s second, this time finished through Blanco’s legs, before Krohn-Dehli took advantage of Celta’s eagerness to claim an away goal by slotting home Vitolo’s pass in a late breakaway.