Barcelona scrape past third-tier Intercity after 120 minutes and seven goals

Intercity 3-4 Barcelona

Nothing suggested that this would be a memorable Copa del Rey tie when Barcelona went in front after just three minutes, but over two hours and six more goals later, it was the viewers who won.

After three months out with injury, Ronald Araujo started with a dream return, heading in after just three minutes. Barcelona looked sharp in the opening half, with Pablo Torre making good use of his second start. Yet Intercity hung on and when they switched to a back four in the second half, it swung the game out of Barcelona’s control.

Oriol Soldevila would finish first from a set piece on the hour mark to initiate a chaotic last half hour. Ousmane Dembele raced away from the Intercity defence to lift the ball over Gaizka in delightful fashion.

Yet there was Soldevila again. A lovely flighted ball to the back post found the 21-year-old, who beat Jordi Alba to the ball and head past Inaki Pena. As Barcelona upped the tempo again, it was Alba who laid across a perfect assist for Raphinha to put Barcelona 3-2 up with just over ten minutes remaining.

Intercity would not give in though. Marcos Alonso gave the ball away in the opposition half, allowing the side from Alicante to race forward on the counter-attack. Naturally, it was none other than Soldevila – who came through at La Masia, who slotted home the equaliser with five minutes remaining.

Xavi Hernandez clenched his teeth nervously on the touchline as the raucous Estadio Jose Rico Perez welcomed in extra time. With the onus on them, Barcelona again threw men forward. It did bring rewards in the 104th minute, with Raphinha setting up Ansu Fati for Barcelona’s fourth, taking a cruel deflection off Emilio Nsue.

This time Soldevila and Intercity could not respond, but there was widespread applause at the final whistle. If they had played until the next goal, there seemed as much chance of them replying as Barcelona extending their lead.

The Blaugrana made it through, but it will be a quiet trip back up the East Coast for Xavi and company. In four days time, they take on Atletico Madrid, without Robert Lewandowski, knowing that similar errors in the backline will see them lose at the Civitas Metropolitano. Barcelona did not rest players entirely, nor was the attitude poor, they simply struggle to win football matches comfortably.

Tags Barcelona Copa del Rey Intercity CF
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