Barcelona are into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey for the first time since the 2020/21 campaign courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.
Ousmane Dembele scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, with La Real reduced to 10 players prior to the interval when Brais Mendez was sent off – the midfielder’s high challenge on Sergio Busquets was initially punished with a yellow card until a VAR intervention upgraded it to red.
Barcelona were in control from the early stages and created chances even before the red card. Robert Lewandowski even had the ball in the net, only to see an offside flag rule it out.
The game could have gone quite differently, though, had Takefusa Kubo’s strike in the 30th minute been couple of inches lower.It was 0-0 at the time, but it struck the bar and the danger was averted.
Dembele’s goal was well-taken, fed by fellow countryman Jules Kounde down the right flank, with the winger going on to finish at the near post.
Barcelona did hit the bar in the second half, with Gavi striking the woodwork. But, ultimately, La Real might wonder how things could have finished, with Alexander Sorloth missing a glorious chance from only a few yards out, while Martin Zubimendi was denied by a last gasp save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
GK: Ter Stegen (7); RB: Kounde (8), CB: Araujo (7), CB: Christensen (7), LB: Balde (7); CM: Pedri (6), CM: Busquets (8), CM: De Jong (7); RW: Dembele (9), ST: Lewandowski (7), LW: Gavi (7)
Kessie (6), Raphinha (6), Fati (N/A), Alonso (N/A)
GK: Remiro (6); RB: Elustondo (6), CB: Zubeldia (6), CB: Le Normand (6), LB: Rico (6); CM: Mendez (4), CM: Zubimendi (7), CM: Marin (6); AM: Kubo (6); ST: Oyarzabal (5), ST: Sorloth (5)
Barrenetxea (6), Munoz (6), Navarro (6), Olasagasti (6), Fernandez (N/A)
Player of the match – Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)