Welcome to Sportstar’s highlights of the Copa Del Rey quarterfinal, Barcelona vs Real Sociedad, being played at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain.
Dembele makes a run along the left flank, passes to Kessie, whose cross is deflected for a corner kick. The corner kick is followed by another and this time Dembele’s floated cross lands in the arms of Remiro.
A number of changes from both sides! For Barca, Kessie and Raphina replace a limping Pedro and Balde, respectively, while Kubo and Marin are replaced by Olasagasti and Navarro.
Chance! Barcelona start building up an attack from Ter-Stegen and usual suspect Dembele gets the ball again. The Frenchman marches up the pitch and beats two defenders and shoots. But lack of force sees the goalie catch it comfortably.
Sociedad has five men at the back, which makes it evident that it is looking to contain its lack of enough players on the pitch as Dembele continues to run rings around the defence with his menacing runs long the right flank.
Off the bar! Demble beats his marker along the right flank, cuts into his left and crosses for Gavi, whose shot hits the crossbar. What a goal would that have been for Xavi and his men to kill this game off.
Barca has shifted to a defensive triabgle to shut down Sociedad’s attempt to attack through the centre and Barca attacks on the other side. Gavi dribbles into the box, plays a one-two with Frenkie de Jong, and goes down appealing for a penalty. But the referee, almost immediately, aks the youngster to get up. It looked more like Gavi running into a defender rather than a foul.
What a miss! Kubo gets the ball into the Barca box, dribbles past three defenders and finds Sorloth, who fails to keep the ball on target. The Sociedad striker holds his hands behind his back after what looked like a golden chance. In replay, however, it is seen he may have been marginally offside,
Barca gives away a free kick, right in front of the penalty box and Kubo steps up for the free-kick. The Japanese shoots with a bit of flight in the ball, but Araujo heads the ball out of danger.
It is Dembele who is troubling the Sociedad defence again, side stepping the defence and getting into the opposition box. He crosses for De Jong to his right, but the wall of white-and-blue intercept to clear, but Barca gets a free kick, following a foul seconds later.
Sociedad tries a long throw-in, but a towering Busquets intercepts to head the ball out of his own half as the visitors try to as questions early on, in the second half.
A double change for Sociedad as Barrene and Munoz replace Oyarzabal and Rico, respectively as the visitors look to find a breakthrough against an outnumbered Barcelona.
Mendez fouls Busquets in the next minute and the referee, after a VAR check, sends Mendez out with a red card, Sociedad is reduced to 10-men.
Mendez tries to take the ball off Lewandowski, but ends up fouling him with a challenge from the back. The players vehemently appeal for a red card, but the referee warns the player with a verbal warning and resumes play.
What a lovely pass from Busquets into the box for Dembele, who had made a run behind the defence, but Artiz intercepts to deny any chance to the Frenchman.
Off the bar! Sociedad starts an attack with the Marin getting the ball into the final third. He draws defenders towards him to release Kubo inside the box and the youngster shoots to leave the woodwork shaking. What a chance this! A free kick that follows, is somehow cleared by Barca.
Barcelona get a free kick in front of the penalty box and Pedri takes it as the ball floats into the box. A header by the Sociedad defence keeps the ball out of danger.
Just missed! Barcelona starts an attack, with Dembele gliding along the right flank, looks up to find some space and threads a cross for De Jong, who connects, but just misses the target
Barcelona is continuously trying to trap Sociedad with long balls, but the men in white-and-blue are keeping a high line to trap the Blaugrana in offside traps.
Chance! Lewandowski’s attempt deflects off to De Jong who tries a shot and though the ball gets into the net, the goal is flagged offside to force a deadlock in this quarterfinal fixture.
Chance! Dembele manages to keep the ball in play along the right wing. He cuts to his right and finds Lewandowski, whose shot is finally blocked.
Oyarzabal gives away another corner to Barca. Pedri takes it and it is punched away by the Sociedad and the ball is forced into the midfield as Barcelona strives for control again.
Sorloth makes an attacking run, beats the offside trap and gets the ball forward. His cross, however, is cleared by Araujo as both teams look for an early breakthrough.
Barcelona has started the match with an aggressive flair to it and gets a corner kick in the opening moments. However, Real Sociedad clear the ball away for now.
1:00 AM: STAT ATTACK
Barcelona has only been eliminated in two of its 12 Copa del Rey ties against Real Sociedad (including three finals), the last time coming in the last 16 in 1980 (2-1 win in the first leg and 0-3 defeat in the second leg).
12:45 AM: FORM GUIDE
Offering Sociedad more hope of winning at the Camp Nou, Barcelona was twice held at home in the Spanish league this season, in its opener against Rayo Vallecano and against Espanyol late last year.
It also struggled in a 1-0 win against Getafe on Sunday, when the visitors deserved a better result. In the group stage of the Champions League, Barcelona drew 3-3 at the Camp Nou with Inter Milan and lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich in October.
Barcelona hasn’t lost — anywhere — since that defeat to Bayern, though, with three draws and eight wins, including three consecutive victories. One of those wins came against Real Madrid in the final of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, where Barcelona lifted its first trophy since winning the Copa in 2021, before Lionel Messi left to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Real Sociedad will put its nine-game winning streak to the test at a place where it hasn’t succeeded in more than three decades.
Sociedad faces Barcelona in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday at the Camp Nou Stadium. It hasn’t won there since 1991. Sociedad has lost 26 straight away games against Barcelona — with one draw and 29 losses in the last 30 matches at the Catalan club.
But there may be more hope than usual ahead of Sociedad’s trip to Barcelona this time.
The Basque Country side is one of the hottest teams in Spain this season with 21 wins in 28 matches in all competitions, with 13 of those wins coming in away games. It has lost only four times overall.
Sociedad has shown it can do well against big-name opponents on the road, including beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Europa League in September. Further back, on its way to the Copa title in 2020, Sociedad beat Real Madrid in a quarterfinal match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
“To win at the Camp Nou you need to have a great day,” Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil said. “Yes, we haven’t won there in many years, but we have won nine in a row and we want to get that 10th victory tomorrow.”
Sociedad has been led by in-form forward Alex Sorloth and Robert Navarro, the 20-year-old midfielder who has scored in each of the previous four Copa rounds. Sorloth has scored seven goals in his last nine games in all competitions. Other players who have thrived for Sociedad during its recent run are veteran playmaker David Silva, Japan international Takefusa Kubo and attacking midfielder Brais Méndez.
“They have an incredible team, both defensively and offensively,” Barcelona coach Xavi said Tuesday. “They have been doing some great things.”
Xavi will count on Robert Lewandowski against Sociedad after the Poland striker couldn’t play against Getafe in the league because of a suspension.
Alguacil won’t have Silva available because of a muscle injury sustained in training on Tuesday.
Barcelona eliminated third-division club Ceuta in the round of 16, while Sociedad got past Mallorca.