The newspaper’s correspondents were on hand to live the game, witness the intensity and passion a cup tie brings. In this context, it was striking how Ousmane Dembele, so often pigeon-holed as dispassionate, was right in the mix.
No longer is he a peripheral figure. Dembele was deeply involved in the development of the game when he was in the stands, and when he took to the field he ended up as one of the protagonists as the Blaugrana tried to find a way through a stubborn host.
He wasn’t the only one. Sergio Busquets appeared to be just another coach, gesticulating alongside Jose Ramon de la Fuente and the rest of the staff. He shared a candid moment with Ronald Koeman before taking to the field – he’s a valued member of the squad, and the Dutchman appreciates his presence.