Barcelona travelled to nearby UD Cornella this evening on red alert. Fresh from their Supercopa de Espana defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao, they were intent on not allowing another upset. They didn’t. They overcame a scare to win 2-0 after extra-time.
Their caution was, of course, heightened by the fact that Real Madrid were dumped out of the Copa del Rey last night by third-tier and ten-man Alcoyano, and that their hosts for the evening, Cornella, had themselves knocked La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid out in the previous round.
Barcelona were missing Lionel Messi through suspension and Sergino Dest through injury, but started with several key figures including Antoine Griezmann. They dominated the early exchanges, unsurprisingly, but failed to find a way of breaking down their third-tier opposition.
Ousmane Dembele repeated the trick in the 80th minute, stepping up after Clement Lenglet was fouled. His effort was even worse than Pjanic’s, weak and down the middle. Barcelona would head to extra-time for the third time in just over a week.
Dembele made up for his error, however, just two minutes into extra-time. The French winger received the ball, opened himself up and unleashed a vicious effort past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net, too hot to handle.
Cornella had a man sent off late on, Albert Estelles, for a foul on Ronald Araujo, and then Martin Braithwaite put the result beyond all doubt with Barcelona’s second. Pedri broke forward down the right before squaring for the Danish to finish well.