(Jordi Blanco, Barcelona) – Barcelona will play the round of 16 of the Cup, avoiding the disaster in Cornellà after an incredible 120 minutes, heading for its third consecutive extension, the never seen before, and saving the furniture from a great goal of Dembélé at the beginning of extra time after, also incredible, the local goalkeeper, Ramón, saved two penalties to Pjanic and Dembélé himself.
By 0-2 the Barça team won on a heavy night and in which they did not have the necessary success to take a calmer victory, giving a false impression of superiority and leaving more than one player, Trincao and Pjanic especially, indicated by its ineffectiveness.
Huge, Ramón became a nightmare for Barça, who without shining at all had plenty of opportunities to sentence his victory without having to suffer as he did, crashing time and again both in his offensive disability and, ultimately, at the goal.
Uncomfortable in the game, failed in the shot, penalty included, and more nervous as time passed, Ronald Koeman’s team quickly understood the reason why Atlético de Madrid had fallen in Cornellà and was becoming aware that the The collapse of Real Madrid, and of so many other First Division teams, had not been a mere coincidence. Surprises? Certainly, but not entirely unexpected.
The Dutch coach reached into an eleven where only Araújo, Griezmann and Lenglet could be considered regular starters, giving way to regular substitutes who should show their skills to fight for a title that they mostly did not show. He joined Pjanic in the center of the field with Riqui and the debutant Ilaix but the test did not go as expected, the Bosnian lost, fighter Ilaix and a Riqui who pretended to be the link with the forward and found himself, frustrated, with the ineffectiveness both Braithwaite and Trincao, finding good support only in Griezmann, insufficient for the dominance, true but confused, of Barça not to be able to give him an advantage on the scoreboard.
The Portuguese was saved after half an hour by a point-blank shot Ramón, the local goalkeeper, who grew to infinity shortly before the break, in a penalty committed by Estellés to Araújo and who saved Pjanic with an excellent save, who joined to the azulgrana jinx from eleven meters, joining Braithwaite and Griezmann in the errors.
CHANGES, NERVES … and ANOTHER PENALTY
For the beginning of the second part Koeman sacrificed Riqui, giving entry to Dembélé, and taking more control, without order, a Barça that spent half an hour long overwhelming the goal of a Cornellà that defended itself with order and increasingly comfortable against the impotence of the rival.
The Barça team pushed and insisted in every way, trying to go out against the local team but more busy defending the equalizer than looking for a Neto who, in any case, had to intervene on a couple of occasions, without much danger , until the duel began to lead to a dramatic ending …
And that he had another penalty for Barça. And another mistake. Committed to Lenglet, he gave Dembélé the opportunity at 81 minutes … And the Frenchman, wanting to mislead Ramon, threw him low and in the middle. The local goalkeeper did not move barely and rejected him. Two penalties, two errors. Not to believe it.
Braithwaite, very unfortunate, missed a frank shot shortly after and Ramón, already at 88 minutes, took a miraculous hand to a Pjanic howitzer, already with Busquets and Pedri on the field and the despair drawn in all the players of a Barça doomed to the extension. Unthinkable but true.
Condemned to his third overtime in three consecutive games in the last week, Barça had more fear of defeat than the security of his victory … But fortune appeared as soon as extra time began, when Dembélé, after to receive from Pedri, he released a blow from the edge of the area to which the local goalkeeper could not respond.
The goal hurt Cornellà’s soul, who after so much rowing and when he was still taking the measure of extra time was seen below on the scoreboard and who was even more overwhelmed by Konrad’s entry into play, electric by the band and giving new vigor to a Barça increasingly sure of its victory.
The spirited local team wanted but could not, unable to achieve the miracle that was supposed to achieve the draw that led to penalties and that ended up surrendered to the evidence, even more so with the final expulsion (double yellow) of Estellé that ended the hopes of the Cornellà to finish giving the pass to a Barça that rounded off its victory in the last gasp with the 0-2 achieved by Braithwaite after the assistance of Pedri.