By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
It was mission accomplished for Barcelona on Wednesday as Luis Enrique’s side achieved their first objective of the season by progressing to the Copa del Rey final. But at what price?

Neymar’s early goal from a wonderful Lionel Messi pass all but sealed it and Barca – some way below their best against a spirited rival – made sure of their progression after Tomas Pina was sent off for brutally scything down the Brazilian, who added a second after Luis Suarez scored his fourth in a week.

But earlier on, Pina also made his mark by clattering into Busquets and leaving the midfielder in agony. The 26-year-old, who recently signed a new contract to extend his stay at the Catalan club until 2019, will undergo tests on Thursday to determine the extent of the damage.

Barca fans will have been encouraged to see the World Cup winner laughing and joking on the bench late in the game, but president Josep Maria Bartomeu warned after the match that the Spain international is facing a significant spell on the sidelines.

“It looks like there is no break, no fracture,” the club chief said afterwards. “But he will be out for some time. It is a slow recovery process.”

In Busquets’ absence, Javier Mascherano played a fine forward pass to set up Suarez for Barca’s second goal. The Argentine can step in to the breach and will not let anybody down. Tactically and technically, however, the Catalan offers so much more to this team, with a far greater range of passing and superior attacking qualities than the former Liverpool man.

“It’s bad news and we will have to see how long he will be out,” Luis Enrique said after the game. “We won’t know until the doctors take a look at him.”

The good news for Barca and for Luis Enrique, though, is seeing the club in the final of the Copa del Rey following some troubled times in 2014-15.

And they arrived in some style, winning all of their eight games en route to the showpiece occasion, scoring 31 goals and conceding only five. It is some turnaround for a club who, only weeks before, were in crisis as Luis Enrique suffered a major fall-out with a sub-par Lionel Messi.

However, Luis Enrique is well aware that all of that will mean little if they cannot claim the prize against Athletic Bilbao on May 30.

“Finals are to be won,” he said. “I am happy we have qualified, but now we will go back to concentrating on La Liga.”

And things are looking brighter there, too, after Barca closed to within two points of Real Madrid at the weekend, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side unable to beat Villarreal (who lost this tie 6-2 on aggregate) at the Santiago Bernabeu.

On Wednesday, it may have been something of a disjointed display from Luis Enrique’s side, but they got the job done easily after Pina’s departure and have now made it to their first final.

After all the troubles they have had this term, that is a positive news. Now, they will cross their fingers that Busquets will be there to see the season through.

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