Sergino Dest returned to action for FC Barcelona for the first time in four matches on Wednesday, and his comeback came in the midst of a dramatic turnaround for the Catalans.
Barcelona went from trailing 2-0 in the 88th minute to eventual 5-3 Copa Del Rey quarterfinal winner against Granada following an impressive comeback led by Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Jordi Alba.
Dest played his part in the comeback, coming on in the 57th minute with Barcelona trailing 2-0. Dest’s energy and pace helped breath some life into the Barca attack, but it still took a very late surge to avoid a shock upset against a Granada side that was outshot 20-4 on the day.
Griezmann and Alba scored goals late in regulation to force extra time, and the air combined for a go-ahead goal in the 100th minute before Dest was called for a penalty foul just three minutes later.
Granada converted the penalty, but Barcelona never lost the momentum, and goals from De Jong and Alba put the match to bed, sending Barcelona to the Copa Del Rey semifinals.
Dest played a total of 63 minutes, his longest appearance since he started in a La Liga win against Granada almost a month earlier. He had battled a thigh injury since then, eventually forcing him to sit four straight matches, but he returned on Wednesday and played well, penalty aside.
Dest replaced Sergi Roberto on Wednesday, with the Spanish veteran appearing to suffer an injury. Robert himself had only just returned from a lengthy injury spell, which is what originally opened the door for the USMNT fullback to become Barcelona’s regular starter at right back for much of the first half of the season.
Dest and Barcelona return to action on Saturday with a road trip to surging Real Betis.