Barbastro 2-3 FC Barcelona: A win, but not an easy one

Barbastro 2-3 FC Barcelona: A win, but not an easy one

A winning start to the Copa del Rey campaign with goals from Fermín López, Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski

Four tiers separate FC Barcelona from Barbastro, but as is so often the case, these cup games are much easier to win on paper than they are on the pitch.

The Catalans, playing with more or less the strongest side they could field, had just the one goal to show from their total dominance of the first 45 minutes. And with Barbastro playing with far more verve in the second half, the win wasn’t decided until the very end.

For although Barça extended their lead to 2-0, Barbastro pulled one back and often threatened to score again. It wasn’t until a penalty two minutes before the end of regulation time that a place in the last sixteen finally looked secure.


Ultimately this is a game that will be remembered for a valiant performance from the side from a town in Huesca of just 17,000 people, but logic prevailed in the end and Barça can now start making plans for the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Dominance, but just one goal

Cup games when top teams travel to smalltown clubs from the lower leagues are always fascinating contests. There was no doubting Barça’s vast superiority, but how could the superstars cope in very different circumstances to what they are used to?

For the opposition, this was the biggest night of their careers, facing the kind of players they normally only watch on TV, many of them normally Barça supporters. But not tonight.

Indeed, despite a few nervous errors from the home side, and although the visitors utterly dominated the first half from start to finish, the Barbastro defence managed to keep the goal count down to one.

On 17 minutes. Raphinha swung the ball in from the right and an unmarked Fermin Lopez glided through to convert a simple finish.

That said, there was nothing wrong with João Félix’s headed goal just before the break, but with no VAR in this game, the incorrect offside decision stood.

Barbastro on the rise

Instead, it was not until the 51st minute that Barça extended their lead when young Hector Fort lofted a delightful ball over to the far post, where Raphinha was running in to make it 2-0.

The second goal came just when Barça were looking vulnerable for the first time in the game. Clearly sensing they might be able to snatch something, Barbastro had finally started creating chances of their own. And nine minutes after going 2-0 down, they managed to pull a goal back when a former resident of La Masia, Adrià de Mesa, knocked the ball home following a corner.

Barbastro no longer looked in the slightest bit overwhelmed, and by no means was everything going Barça’s way.

And matters weren’t helped when Iñigo Martinez was forced to withdraw just ten minutes after coming on for the first time since recovering from injury.

Penalty sorts it

All credit has to go to the Aragonese side for staying in contention right to the end, and it was not until the 87th minute that any chance of a cupset was laid to rest by Barça’s third goal.

A handball in the Barbastro area had the referee pointing straight at the spot, and Robert Lewandowski stroked home.

Another penalty, this time for the home side, was smashed home by Marc Prat deep into injury time, but ultimately that was just late consolation for a home side who can go out of the cup with their heads held very high indeed.


Força Barça
Força Barça

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