Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder scored in the second half to earn Sevilla a deserved 2-0 victory over Barcelona, who rested Lionel Messi, in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final. Messi came off the bench to help Barca beat Leganes in LaLiga at the weekend, but Ernesto Valverde left his captain out entirely at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on Wednesday, handing a debut to shock signing Kevin-Prince Boateng in attack instead.Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho came on as substitutes but, if Barca are to win the Copa del Rey for a fifth year in a row, they will have to overturn a first-leg deficit as they did in the last round against Levante. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Sarabia struck to capitalise on a period of Sevilla dominance with Ben Yedder adding a late second, Pablo Machin’s side bouncing back from a run of three straight losses in all competitions to stun the holders, although they lost talismanic winger Jesus Navas to injury.Sarabia & Ben Yedder put @SevillaFC_ENG in charge of their #CopaDelRey quarter-final!Sevilla 2-0 Barcelona pic.twitter.com/l0hpKHTdXc— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 23, 2019Sevilla thought they had been awarded a penalty in the first half when Arturo Vidal blocked a cross with his upper arm, but a VAR review opted not to give a spot-kick. Ben Yedder should have given Sevilla the lead in the 36th minute, brilliantly beating Gerard Pique during a dazzling solo run but slicing his shot badly wide of the post. Barca missed an even better chance before the break, Malcom running on to a sublime Arthur pass to round Juan Soriano but hitting his finish into the side-netting. Quincy Promes and Ibrahim Amadou wasted good opportunities after the restart as Sevilla continued to impress, the opening goal deservedly arriving in the 58th minute. Promes raided down Sevilla’s left wing and floated a cross into the Barca box, Sarabia meeting the ball with an excellent first-time finish that gave Jasper Cillessen no chance. And Sevilla gave themselves a further cushion ahead of the return fixture when they scored what might prove to be a decisive second goal in the 76th minute. Andre Silva and Ever Banega combined to tee up Ben Yedder at the back post, the striker using his celebration to show a message of support to missing Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala. What does it mean? Messi magic missed by BarcaValverde has a tricky task to juggle Messi’s fitness with the Champions League returning next month, but the Barca coach must be careful of giving his side too much to do in a competition they have dominated in recent years. For the second round in a row, Barca are going to have to come from behind in the return leg. Messi will surely start on home soil.As for Sevilla, who were beaten by Barca in the 2016 and 2018 finals, they will be desperate for revenge.Promes promise begins to shineWhen Promes moved to Sevilla from Spartak Moscow for the 2018-19 season it was regarded as one of the most exciting deals in Europe. The Netherlands winger has struggled, though, starting only three LaLiga games, but he showed enough verve and intensity to suggest he can be an asset over the second half of the campaign.Malcom wastes his big chanceWith Messi and Ousmane Dembele absent, Malcom was handed a rare opportunity to impress Valverde. However, a poor miss just before the break showed why the Brazilian could still be allowed to leave the club during the January transfer window. He was unsurprisingly hauled off after Sevilla took the lead.What’s next?What promises to be a thrilling second leg will be played at Camp Nou next Wednesday, but before then Sevilla host Levante in LaLiga on Saturday, with Barca going to Girona a day later. read more
“The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait towards resolving outstanding issues between them and calls for their continued constructive engagement,” said a statement issued by his office.On 28 October, the Iraqi government chaired the first formal meeting of committees charged with the coordination and guidance of new national priorities, the UN Special Representative for Iraq, Jan Kubis told the Security Council on Tuesday.Such priorities include Iraq’s pledges for reconstruction funds to rebuild its economy and infrastructure, following last year’s victory over ISIL or Dae’sh militants, which were made in Kuwait, as a major conference on reconstructing Iraq, last February.“This signals a Government’s determined shift toward development and investment,” Mr. Kubis said.Iraq is still indebted to Kuwait following the 1991 Gulf War, when former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded and annexed the small nation, seizing oil reserves and other property, prompting an international coalition to launch an offensive to liberate Kuwait.This year, following many months of preparation, Iraqi Foreign Ministry representatives returned “numerous property items taken during the invasion,” to Kuwait on 11 and 13 November, Mr. Kubis said, marking a “clear indication” of the Iraqi government’s commitment to resolving outstanding issues.The repatriation of property being handed over more than 25 years on, includes 2,300 books, an archive of Kuwait Television video tapes, a sword, and a valuable painting.“The Secretary-General reiterates that the United Nations will remain fully committed to the resolution of all outstanding issues between Iraq and Kuwait,” said Wednesday’s statement.