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Miguel Ángel, Barça's hero / PHOTO: Àlex Caparrós - FCB

Miraculous qualification for Pep Muñoz’s team. Barça beat Real Sociedad in the return leg of the quarterfinals to seal their spot in the next round in epic fashion. Real Sociedad, who played a fantastic match at the Miniestadi, leave the Copa del Rey competition with their heads held high, while the Azulgranas await a rival in the semifinals.

Level in the first half

The Txuri Urdin came out strong at the start of the match as they tried to cut into the 0-2 deficit from the away leg at Zubieta. Iker and Alain laid siege to the Azulgrana area in the first minutes of the game but Barça were the team that took the lead. The Cameroonian Dongou assisted Ernesto, who was unhindered as he smashed the ball into the back of the net.

The team led by Pep Muñoz took control of the match, the Azulgranas were intense in their pressure and quick in their transitions. With Samper and Patric acting as the conductors of Barça’s play, the team pinned Real Sociedad back. However, when Barça were playing their best football, that’s when the visiting side reacted. Castro netted the equaliser after a fantastic individual play on the 15th minute.

From that moment on, both teams started to commit a lot of errors of the pitch. Nando Quesada, however, sent the ball to the woodwork, and Real Sociedad responded with a set piece that narrowly missed Barça’s goal. Without Dongou on the pitch, who had to be subbed off, the Txuri Urdin went in search of the goal that would see them through to the next round. The scoreboard, however, didn’t move until the start of the second half.

Real Sociedad fight back... epic finish for Barça

The second half could not have started off in worse fashion of Barça. The Txuri Urdin quickly took the lead through Álex, who took advantage of a rebound from a corner kick to score the go-ahead goal. Without a point man like Dongou, the Azulgranas had very few options up front. Tienda did well to save a one-on-one with Iker to keep Barça’s Cup hopes alive. However, Alain, with a beautifully stuck free kick, scored Real Sociedad’s third.

Barça urgently needed a goal to stay in the competition, but Real Sociedad kept on the attack. Álex had the chance to kill off the game with a spectacular header, but the ball crashed against the woodwork. As time ticked off the clock, Miguel Ángel stepped up to claim the hero’s mantel for the Azulgranas as he scored the tie-winning goal in stoppage time. The sticker, with a beautifully struck free kick, sent the ball into the back of Real Sociedad’s net.

MATCH STATS

FC BARCELONA, 2
REIAL SOCIEDAD, 3

FC Barcelona: Tienda, Edu, Brian, Robert, Ayala, Samper, Ernesto (Cristian, min 63), Patric (Quintillà, min 50), Dongou (Miguel Ángel, min 39) and Nando Quesada (Pol Calvet, min 72)

Real Sociedad: Capilla, Egaña, Josu (Jokin, min 72), Elustondo, Álex, Kako (Maikel, min 78), Alain, Castro, Iker (Borja, min 86), Joseba (Matthieu, min 63) and Eneko

Goals: 1-0, Ernesto, min 4; 1-1, Castro, min 15; 1-2, Álex, min, 50; 1-3, Alain, min, 61 and, 2-3, Miguel Ángel, min 90.

Referee: Víctor Manuel Sánchez Rico. Yellow cards: Ayala, Joseba (min 26), Patric (min 38), Iker (min 45), Álex (min 65), Josu (min 67), Matthieu (min 73), Robert (min 78), Capilla (min 85) and Jokin (min 89).

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