Intercity 3-4 Barcelona (AET): Fati nets late in Copa del Rey thriller

Intercity 3-4 Barcelona (AET): Oriol Soldevila nets incredible hat-trick to help third-tier Spanish minnows come from behind THREE times in Copa del Rey third-round thriller… before Ansu Fati scores in extra-time to send LaLiga giants through

  • The Catalan giants got off to a quick start with Ronald Araujo netting the opener
  • But on the hour mark, Intercity pulled one back through Oriol Soldevila Puig
  • However, they were level for just eight minutes with Dembele restoring the lead
  • Intercity didn’t give up and levelled again before Raphinha made it 3-2 late on
  • Soldevila got his hat-trick to send it to extra time – but Ansu Fati scored for Barca 

Ansu Fati put Barcelona into the last-16 of the Spanish Cup, but only after Oriol Soldevila, a 21-year-old who spent two seasons with Birmingham City’s development squad scored a hat-trick against them to take the game into extra time.

The Alicante-based minnows CF Intercity play in Spain’s third tier and weren’t given a prayer against a Barcelona team replete with internationals but Soldevila had other ideas with three goals against a club he had played for as an under-18 rising star before moving to England.

Barcelona came into the game top of La Liga; Intercity are 16th in their third tier regional group and have only been existence for five years. None of that mattered as Xavi side floundered in defence and Soldevila played the game of his life.

Ansu Fati spared Barcelona’s blushes after they needed extra-time to beat minnows Intercity

INTERCITY: (5-4-1) Gaizka Campos; Jaime (Nsue 82), Murria, Perez (Angong 94), Galvez (Herrera 46), Romero; Soldevilla Puig, Bellotti (Undabarrena 82), Mari Sanchez, Roige (Koffi 65); Pinan (Xemi 68)

Subs not used: Herrera (GK); Carmona, Etxaniz, Ferroni, Kecojevic

Goals: Soldevilla Puig (59, 74, 86)

Bookings: None

Coach: Gustavo Siviero

BARCELONA: (4-3-3) Pena; Bellerin (Alonso 83), Araujo (Garcia 64), Kounde, Alba; Kessie, Busquets, Torre (Gavi 64); Dembele (Balde 105), Depay (Fati 78), Torres (Raphinha 64)

Subs not used: Tenas (GK), ter Stegen (GK); Christensen, de Jong, Roberto

Goals: Araujo (4), Dembele (67), Raphinha (77), Fati (104)

Bookings: Torre (50)

Coach: Xavi

Referee: Valentin Pizarro

Man of the Match: Oriol Soldevila (Intercity)

Venue: Camp Municipal Antonio Solana (Alicante)

Things started well for Barcelona when after almost 100 days out with injury Ronald Araujo took just four minutes to mark his comeback with a goal. 

Pablo Torre swung over a corner and the defender launched himself at it sending a header past Gaizka Campos just under the crossbar. Araujo was outstanding at both ends.

Intercity’s best chance came when Oriol Soldevila put Aaron Pinan through. He raced with the ball at his feet from the halfway line – his problem was that the Uruguayan was racing with him and he slid in to scoop the ball to safety just a yard from the goal line.

Barcelona were struggling to get the second goal with Ferran Torres most guilty of missing chances. 

He dwelled too long on the ball inside the Intercity penalty box to waste Barca’s first chance of the second half and from that miss they almost scored through Aaron.

Barcelona were being roared on by the ‘home’ fans. Intercity only have around 1,000 season ticket holders. 

Playing the game at nearby Hercules’ stadium gave them a massive payday but it also meant the stadium was full of Alicante based Barça supporters.

Those fans were stunned on 59 minutes when Martin Bellotti jumped above Araujo and Jules Kounde to head to the back post where Torres couldn’t prevent Barcelona-born Soldevila to score.

Xavi threw on Raphinha, Eric Garcia and Gavi for Pablo Torre, Torres and Araujo. They were changes planned before the goal but Xavi then sent Alejandro Balde and Ansu Fati to warm up. He sensed catastrophe – it would be Dembele who prevented it.

Gavi threaded the ball through and the France winger streaked clear, drew the keeper and clipped it over him to net his sixth of the season for Barcelona. 

Ronald Araujo got Barcelona off to a quick start by breaking the deadlock insider four minutes

The Barca centre back got his side off to a rapid start in what would be a dominant first half

Barcelona goalkeeper Inaki Pena celebrates Araujo’s goal in the Copa del Rey tie

He is the player Xavi has always defended and he had got his boss out of a hole – only for them to take a few steps forward and fall through another one.

Cristo Romero whipped the ball in from the left and Soldevila was there again to get in front of Jordi Alba, who provided no more resistance than Torres for the first goal, to score and make it 2-2.

Alba made immediate amends with one of those crosses from the left that arrives gift-wrapped to the back post for anyone who has made the run to score. Raphinha was the recipient and he put Barça back in front at 3-2.

However, Oriol Soldevila (right) scored his first goal on the hour mark to draw Intercity level

Ousmane Dembele shortly restored Barcelona’s lead eight minutes later with a lobbed effort

Gavi (No 30) and Memphis Depay celebrate with Dembele after he restored Barca’s lead

Fati was on now – he had played the ball out to Alba for the third goal – and he came close to making it four shooting into the side netting.

Intercity were not going quietly though and after a wall pass inside the area with Miguel Mari, the inspired Soldevila had his shot saved by Inaki Peña. He had been denied a hat-trick but not for long.

With Intercity’s next chance to scored, Christian Herrera pushed substitute Marcos Alonso off the ball and played it quickly through to Soldevila who this time beat Pena at his near post. 

Soldevila got his brace eight minutes later to pull Intercity back into the third-round tie

Fati netted just before the break in extra-time to give Barcelona the lead for the fourth time

Intercity striker Aaron Pinan tries to sprint past Araujo during a rare first-half attack

Intercity’s performance was impressive some of the spectators who had arrived with Barcelona scarves were now willing the minnows to pull-off the impossible.

In extra time Barcelona went ahead for the fourth time in the game when Raphinha’s cross from the right was hit first time by Fati. It took a deflection to help send it past Campos and this time Intercity stayed down, finally beaten.

Barca’s blushes had by no means been saved though – the defensive lapses will be pored over in the coming days. If they are repeated Xavi will end a season without a trophy once more.

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