FC Barcelona is scared but ensures its qualification on the lawn of CF Intercity


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After its draw conceded during the derby of the county city against Espanyol (1-1) for its last match of the year 2022, FC Barcelona entered the Spanish Cup with a trip to the field of CF Intercity, third division boarder. The Catalan technician Xavi Hernandez therefore took the opportunity to rotate his workforce, Jordi Alba being the only starting player against the Barcelona rival a few days earlier.

A voluntary Ousmane Dembele

On the bench in the league, Ousmane Dembélé and Jules Koundé were present in the starting lineup, as was Ronald Araujo, back on the Spanish pitch after a few months absence. From the start of the match, the Blaugranas quickly put pressure on their evening opponent, winning the midfield battle hands down. And on a corner from Pablo Torre, the Uruguayan cut the cross at the near post to unlock the mark (1-0, 4th). An opener that allowed visitors to quickly manage the pace of the match.

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However, Xavi’s men were sometimes surprised by the liveliness of the formation of Alicante, in particular with the beautiful breakthrough of Aarón Piñán in the axis, which dribbled Iñaki Peña but was finally checked by Araujo (18th). Dembélé, holder on the right of the attack, was the spearhead of the Catalan offensive sector but lacked accuracy in the last gesture (9th, 22nd, 50th), just like Memphis Depay (28th) and Ferran Torres (45 + 1st) . By dint of missing the break, CF Intercity was finally rewarded with the equalizer signed Oriol Soldevila Puig on a corner, he who had passed through La Masia during his youth (1-1, 59th).

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A feverish Catalan defense

Dembélé restored the advantage to his team with a superb dive (2-1, 67′), before “Solde” doubled the lead a few minutes later (2-2, 74′). And as before the last quarter of an hour, Barça came back in front thanks to the incoming Raphinha… and the inevitable Soldevila Puig, in the wake of a fine save by his goalkeeper Gaizka Campos in front of the Brazilian (85th), equalized a third time in the game (3-3, 86th). Despite some incursions into the opposing area, the FCB lacked realism and was forced to go through extra time to pass its first round of the national cup.

During the extra 30 minutes, Jordi Alba, well served by Sergio Busquets, found the crossbar before being penalized with an offside position (100th). Three minutes later, Ansu Fati finally deceived the opposing goalkeeper with a shot blocked by the defense (4-3, 103rd) for his first goal in his last 7 matches in official competition in the Blaugrana jersey. After getting scared three times, La Liga leaders Barça advance to the Copa round of 16, which will be played in mid-January, before facing quiet winners Atlético de Madrid. ‘Oviedo earlier in the evening, in the league this weekend.

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