Barça continues its merry way in the King’s Cup. Carried by a grandiose Ousmane Dembélé, scorer in the second half, the Blaugranas took out Real Sociedad in the quarter-finals (1-0), Thursday evening at Camp Nou. They validated their qualification in pain against the Basques reduced to 10 before the break, Marc-André Ter Stegen leaving two crucial parades at the end of the match.
The Barcelonians waited until the final whistle to offer a qualification in the semis of the Copa del Rey to their coach, Xavi, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Thursday. If they dominated the meeting head and shoulders, the Culés lacked efficiency and trembled on the rare but very dangerous offensives of Real Sociedad. They owe their success as much to Ousmane Dembélé as to Marc-André Ter Stegen.
Sole scorer of the match on a heavy strike from the right after a good pass from Jules Koundé (1-0, 52nd), the Frenchman was untenable. On his right side, he offered a very broad overview of his technical qualities and made the spectators stand up more than once with his slaloms and his many crosses.
Ter Stegen, the other evening hero
The German goalkeeper, for his part, saved his team twice at the end of the game when Xavi had bet to bring down a new offensive card with the entry of Raphinha despite the advantage on the scoreboard. At fault on a bad recovery, he diverted from the shoulder a shot from Robert Navarro (88th). In additional time, the blunderer again turned into a savior in front of Jon Ander Olasagasti (90th + 2).
The hope of the Basques to bring down Barça in their lair was close to nothing after the logical expulsion – thanks to the VAR – of Brais Mendez for a sole on Sergio Busquets before the break (40th). Deprived of seven players for injury, largely led in the game (8 shots from Barça to 0 after 19 minutes), they almost returned to the match well before the parades of Ter Stegen. Takefusa Kubo sent the ball over the crossbar in the first period (30th). Alone facing the empty goal on a back pass from the Japanese, Alexander Sorloth sent the ball over (59th).
The series of victories in all competitions for the men of Imanol Alguacil, third in La Liga, therefore stops at 9. FC Barcelona, who also touched the bar by Gavi (67th), brings their invincibility to 12 games. Ten days after beating Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final, the Culés are gaining momentum and impressing in the game despite some defensive oversights. The only downside: the likely injury exit of Pedri, whose grimace on the bench did not indicate anything good.