Barcelona are into the semifinals of the 2022/23 Copa del Rey after a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad in a quarterfinal match at the Camp Nou that stayed competitive until the end despite the visitors going down to 10 men before halftime.
Ousmane Dembele scored the decisive goal in the 52nd minute, and it was just reward for a spectacular performance with Real Sociedad unable to get to grips with the Frenchman, who was running past players down the right flank like they weren't there.
Barcelona took full advantage of the straight red card shown to Real Sociedad midfielder Brais Mendez four minutes before halftime for a stomp. The player lost his cool during a moment of high intensity in the match and received the first red card of his career.
But it didn't discourage 10-man Real Sociedad from threatening in the second half. Top scorer Alexander Sorloth flubbed a sitter with the goal at his mercy, and then the visitors also had two late shots which forced Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen into two big stops to prevent the equalizer.
The loss snapped a nine-match winning streak in all competitions for Real Sociedad and it sent Barcelona into the semifinals with that draw taking place on Friday, January 27.
Real Sociedad, six points behind leaders Barcelona in third place in La Liga, get set for a trip to face Real Madrid in league play on Sunday. Barcelona prepare to travel to Girona on Saturday.
MORE: Updated La Liga table | Updated La Liga top scorers race
BAR — Ousmane Dembele — 52nd min.
SOC — Brais Mendez — 41st min.
Barcelona lineup (4-4-2, right to left): 1-Ter Stegen (GK) — 23-Kounde, 4-Araujo, 15-Christensen (17-Alonso, 91'), 28-Balde (22-Raphinha, 77') — 8-Pedri (19-Kessie, 77'), 5-Busquets, 21-De Jong, 30-Gavi — 7-Dembele (10-Fati, 84'), 9-Lewandowski.
Real Sociedad lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 1-Remiro (GK) — 6-Elustondo, 5-Zubeldia, 24-Le Normand, 15-Rico (12-Munoz, 46') — 23-Brais, 3-Zubimendi, 42-Marin (31-Olasagasti, 77') — 14-Kubo (17-Navarro, 77'), 19-Sorloth (9-Fernandez, 87'), 10-Oyarzabal (7-Barrenetxea, 46').
Final: In the end Barcelona needed Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to bail them out because they failed to put the game out of reach against 10-man Real Sociedad which will wonder what could've been had Brais Mendez not been sent off before halftime.
Barcelona looked good during stretches, but they also let their foot off the gas after scoring, and they also allowed Real Sociedad to come close to scoring on two occasions in the final minutes. Barcelona survived and they should be able to take a lesson or two for the high-stakes matches that await them later this season.
18 - Marc-André ter Stegen has saved 18 of the 21 shots on target he has faced for Barcelona since the start of 2023 in all competitions (three goals conceded). Guardian. pic.twitter.com/wRdL7mxzQP — OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 25, 2023
93rd min.: Chance Real Sociedad! What an end to this game! Ter Stegen has to come up with another big save on a thumping shot from sub Olasagasti who hit that ball sweetly, but Ter Stegen's reactions were up to the task.
89th min.: Chance Real Sociedad! Marc-Andre Ter Stegen flubs an easy pass out of the back and it goes right to Sociedad who get two shots off, one of which was point-blank on Ter Stegen. Here's the stop to make up for his error.
Ter Stegen being the villain and the hero in 10 seconds 🧤 pic.twitter.com/SM6p40J7LV — 𝑳𝒆𝒐. (@total10i) January 25, 2023
85th min.: Chance Barcelona. Lewandowski with the glancing header on the corner and Real Sociedad goalkeeper Remiro has to come up with the reflex stop on the line.
84th min.: SUB Barcelona. Ousmane Dembele gets the standing ovation as Ansu Fati comes on.
77th min.: SUBS. Both teams introduce two players. Raphinha (for Balde) and Franck Kessie (for an injured Pedri). Barcelona are going to three in the back. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad introduce Jon Ander Olasagasti and Robert Navarro for Pablo Marin and Takefusa Kubo.
Pedri was limping as he came off:
🔄 Pedri fue el que pidió el cambio, dolorido.pic.twitter.com/BalBFyo6hO — Carpetas Blaugranas (CB) (@carpetasFCB) January 25, 2023
76th min.: Chance Barcelona. Dembele is on fire tonight. He goes on a mazy run and gets a shot off which is saved. It came moments after a penalty shout that the referee waved off.
73rd min.: Barcelona have the upperhand again. They're knocking it around the Real box and the visitors are sitting back and absorbing pressure. Barcelona are winning it back pretty quickly against 10-man Sociedad.
68th min.: Chance Barcelona. The home team wakes up. It starts with Dembele again down the right. This time he crosses it and Gavi places it with his left instep off the crossbar.
60th min.: Chance Real Sociedad! How did Alex Sorloth miss that? It's a perfect Takefusa Kubo cross and Sorloth hits it with his ankle and sends it over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy!
Ni estar en una racha tremenda te priva de fallar una clarísima. La que ha tenido Sorloth es increíble. pic.twitter.com/IqHH4Fz3QL — Luis Calabor Núñez (@LuigiCalabor) January 25, 2023
Como ha fallado esto Sorloth? pic.twitter.com/CheB5mXBRX — rubén (@rubennatm) January 25, 2023
59th min.: YELLOW card Barcelona. Second yellow shown to Pedri as Real Sociedad now begin to push into the attack and Barcelona have relaxed a bit after the goal.
57th min.: Chance Real Sociedad. It's a yellow card for Sergio Busquets, who brings down Barrenetxea at the top of the box. Takefusa Kubo takes it and it hits Lewandowski in the head.
52nd min.: Goal Barcelona! It's Ousmane Dembele who's been rewarded with an excellent showing so far. A through ball put him in behind and with many thinking he was about to cross it, he shoots at the near post and surprises the goalkeeper.
The substitute left-back Aihen Munoz was burned by Dembele on that play. Too easy.
46th min.: We're back underway with nearly 60,000 fans on hand at the Camp Nou.
SUBS Real Sociedad. Diego Rico and Mikel Oyarzabal are out and Aihen Munoz and Ander Barrenetxea replace them. Fresh legs for the running that's in store in the second half.
59.610 espectadores en el Barça-Real Sociedad del Camp Nou. pic.twitter.com/qEHGb5deRe — Helena Condis Edo (@HelenaCondis) January 25, 2023
Halftime: It was a match that slowly had an edge to it and it became heated — Real Sociedad upset at Robert Lewandowski, and Lewandowski upset at the referee — but the red card to Brais looked like it immediately took the air out of the game.
Real Sociedad hit the crossbar, but they are probably going to become even more defensive in the second half. Barcelona did well to get to the Sociedad box from the first minute — Dembele was the most lively Barcelona player — but the final shot has not been accurate (De Jong, Gavi, Kounde and Dembele all missed the target). Real Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro has not been tested despite the 11 first-half shots.
One issue with the referee Gil Manzano: Had he shown Brais Mendez the yellow card when he first deserved it, he may have calmed down enough to avoid going in for the stomp, which was rightly sanctioned with the red. Brais Mendez lost it.
45th min.: Chance Barcelona. Dembele has time to feed an under-lap from Jules Kounde who switches feet and his attempt to curl with his less favorite left foot doesn't work out.
41st min.: Red card Real Sociedad! The referee looks at the replay and takes away the yellow and shows Brais Mendez the red card. He lost it over the last 10 minutes. Mendez was trying to do damage on his last two tackles and he paid the price.
Ha tenido que ir a mirarla pic.twitter.com/kQDFLUeqYM — Lord B. (@LordbzB) January 25, 2023
Here's the moment as seen from the stands:
Gil Manzano va a ver al VAR si es roja la falta de Brais Mendez sobre Busquets. Corrige y lo expulsa. La Real, con uno menos. @INIE8TAZO pic.twitter.com/IQzrgSO8IM — Pau Pedraza i Sopena (@paupe07) January 25, 2023
It was Brais Mendez's first red card of his professional career:
🟥 Roja para Brais.
📌 Es su primera expulsión como jugador profesional. pic.twitter.com/qm680C3B72 — Relevo (@relevo) January 25, 2023
38th min.: Yellow card to Real Sociedad's Brais Mendez and in truth the foul looked more like a red card. It was a stomp on Sergio Busquet's foot. And Gil Manzano is going to the monitor!
37th min.: Brais Mendez and Robert Lewandowski are going at it! First Brais thought Lewandowski got him with his elbow. Then Brais goes in hard at Lewandowski's legs and brings him down. It looked like an obvious yellow, but Gil Manzano gives Brais a final warning. Here was the alleged elbow by Lewandowski:
Lewandowski vs Real Sociedadpic.twitter.com/6BQl7pviSz — El Ojo del VAR (@ojodelvar) January 25, 2023
36th min.: Since the crossbar, Real Sociedad have some more confidence to their game. Barcelona have been less threatening.
30th min.: Real Sociedad crossbar! The visitors cut right through the middle of the Barcelona defense with a nice passing combination. And Takefusa Kubo fires it off the crossbar. Reminder: Kubo is a former Barcelona youth player.
21st min.: Real Sociedad manager Imanol wants to see his fullbacks get physical, especially with Ousmane Dembele, who looks like he can do damage.
Real Sociedad manger is telling his players to hurt Barcelona players. pic.twitter.com/cxmEuXc0or — Tiny Torre🇸🇴 (@husovo) January 25, 2023
20th min.: Barcelona chance. Frenkie De Jong feeds Dembele wide right and then continues his run cutting into the middle of the box. Dembele finds him, but the sliding shot is wide. It feels like the goal is only a matter of time.
17th min.: Barcelona chance. It's Ousmane Dembele going at the Real Sociedad back line and he sends his shot wide. It came a few minutes after Gavi's attempt also went wide after a few ricochets in the box.
12th min.: Barcelona goal disallowed! This looks like an obvious one. Lewandowski shoots at goal and the ball comes off Frenkie De Jong who's offside. But Lewandowski was arguing that there was an intentional play by a defender (which could have erased the offside).
Lewandowski was jawing at the referee for a little ... This was the same ref who sent him off. He got a three-match suspension after a gesture he made on his way off the field.
8th min.: It's been mainly Barcelona in these first 10 minutes. Gavi is getting ready to push high on the left side.
A player like David Silva would've been nice to help keep some possession for Real Sociedad. Tough to see the visitors sustaining all this pressure for 90 minutes. Sociedad have a 46W-14L-9D with him, and 18W-17L-24D without.
4th min.: Barcelona chance. After Ronald Araujo makes an important clearance in the box, on the other end it's Alejandro Balde taking a shot toward goal, but he did it with his right foot!
1st min.: We're off. Real Sociedad kick off.
1 min from kickoff: It's clear the Barcelona fans love Gavi, who gets the loudest ovation. But Xavi says that Gavi is more appreciated with Spain than with Barca.
El Camp Nou enloquece con el once coreado por el speaker del Barça.
Gavi, otra vez, el más ovacionado por la afición azulgrana. @INIE8TAZO pic.twitter.com/bPi7OmtgJp — Pau Pedraza i Sopena (@paupe07) January 25, 2023
Xavi isn't a fan of the criticism received by his star teenager. pic.twitter.com/nNLVa8okcf — Football España (@footballespana_) January 25, 2023
5 mins from kickoff: As the teams get set to take the field, the Camp Nou has filled up nicely over the last half-hour.
Camp Nou bem marromenos hoje. Jogo de Copa é o único que passa na TV aberta. 7ºC. Quarta as 21h - tem muita gente que vem do interior da Catalunha e não consegue vir em jogos de meio de semana. pic.twitter.com/s1t1hUUkZ5 — Marcelo Bechler (@marcelobechler) January 25, 2023
35 mins from kickoff: A little Bon Jovi to get the juices flowing at the Camp Nou.
Suena "Livin’ on a Prayer" de @BonJovi en el Camp Nou.
Tiene una explicación y tiene su gracia.
Luego lo contamos en @carrusel 😉 pic.twitter.com/dZyoSW7SQB — Sique RodríguezGairí (@SiqueRodriguez) January 25, 2023
40 mins from kickoff: Is this Barcelona's best backline when everyone is healthy?
For only the third time this season, Barça lines up with a defense consisting of Koundé - Araujo - Christensen - Baldé.
▪️Match 1 : Atlético 0 - 1 Barça
▪️Match 2 : Real Madrid 1 - 3 Barça
[@barcapassionat] pic.twitter.com/RajIkE32FY — total Barça (@totalBarca) January 25, 2023
65 mins from kickoff: Barcelona's lineup is out, and as predicted it mirrors what Xavi fielded for the Supercopa final against Real Madrid.
The big discussion topic is Marc-Andre ter Stegen taking over for Inaki Pena between the pipes after the latter started the last two Copa del Rey games. Xavi is putting his best team out there.
As for Real Sociedad, Diego Rico is in at left-back, Pablo Marin in midfield, and Mikel Oyarzabal starts and captains the team ahead of Robert Navarro.
115 mins from kickoff: Check out what the Barcelona players were wearing on their arrival to the Camp Nou.
Ya estamos aquí... y con estilo 😏 pic.twitter.com/IziHb3hZWP — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 25, 2023
130 mins from kickoff: With every Sociedad victory, the international profile of the manager simply known as Imanol continues to grow. Imanol Alguacil is a 51-year-old ex-Sociedad player who's been in charge since December 2018 and helped the team end a long trophy drought with the 2020 Copa del Rey title. It was their first Copa del Rey since 1988.
🏨La Real Sociedad ya está concentrada en Barcelona
🔵⚪️Así ha sido la llegada del conjunto de Imanol entre aficionados.
📹 @mfuster pic.twitter.com/OsGFkkBXGw — El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) January 25, 2023
140 mins from kickoff: Here are more not-so-great omens for Real Sociedad's trip to the Camp Nou:
In the Copa del Rey Quarter-finals specificaly, Barcelona and Real Sociedad faced each other 4 previous times. Barcelona advanced each time. pic.twitter.com/tklEN4cfXf — adil (@Barca19stats) January 20, 2023
13 - FC Barcelona have avoided the defeat in their 13 home games against Real Sociedad in Copa del Rey (W12 D1). Fort. pic.twitter.com/UjQeza6iLi — OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 25, 2023
Real Sociedad have lost their last 26 games in a row against Barcelona. (MD) #fcblive pic.twitter.com/TOFbWWPmyH — Football España (@footballespana_) January 25, 2023
2 - Barcelona have only been eliminated in two of their 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). Rivalry. pic.twitter.com/hWyDjYe5xY — OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 25, 2023
Number of times reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals since 1990:
02- Real Sociedad pic.twitter.com/GxEXhE0hKl — adil (@Barca19stats) January 20, 2023
150 mins from kickoff: All eyes will be on referee Jesus Gil Manzano, who has shown more red cards to Barcelona than to any other team in his career, according to Relevo. And he will meet Robert Lewandowski face to face again after his red card cost Lewa a three-match La Liga suspension.
It's worth highlighting that VAR was made available in the competition beginning in the Round of 16 and will be available through to the final.
El Barcelona es el equipo al que 𝐦𝐚́𝐬 𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐚𝐬 ha mostrado Gil Manzano como árbitro profesional:
✅ Luis Suárez
📌 9 rojas en 33 partidos arbitrados al Barça. pic.twitter.com/EiAjNAasfY — Relevo (@relevo) November 8, 2022
180 mins from kickoff: Real Sociedad are going to need something special to make it 10 straight wins in all competitions and earn a victory at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona at home vs Real Sociedad:
- 93 matches
- 80 wins
- 10 draws
- 3 defeats pic.twitter.com/uDZc830dTN — Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 24, 2023
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez goes back to the 4-4-2 formation he used to beat Real Madrid in the final of the Supercopa with Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele as the forwards.
Although Lewandowski and fellow forward Ferran Torres have one more match to serve in their La Liga suspension, it does not apply to the Copa del Rey and both are available for selection. Torres starts on the bench.
In addition, Frenkie De Jong and Ronald Araujo return after sitting out last weekend's La Liga victory over Getafe. If there's any controversy it's that Marc-Andre ter Stegen takes over at goalkeeper instead of backup Inaki Pena, who has served as the Copa del Rey starting netminder thus far.
Barcelona starting lineup (4-4-2, right to left): 1-Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) — 23-Jules Kounde, 4-Ronald Araujo, 15-Andreas Christensen, 28-Alejandro Balde — 8-Pedri, 5-Sergio Busquets, 21-Frenkie De Jong, 30-Gavi — 7-Ousmane Dembele, 9-Robert Lewandowski.
Barcelona subs (11): 13-Inaki Pena (GK), 36-Arnau Tenas (GK), 18-Jordi Alba, 24-Eric Garcia, 20-Sergi Roberto, 2-Hector Bellerin, 17-Marcos Alonso, 19-Franck Kessie, 10-Ansu Fati, 22-Raphinha, 11-Ferran Torres.
Playmaker David Silva picked up an injury during training the day before the match and will sit out. Together with the absence of Mikel Merino, manager Imanol Barrenetxea loses two of his most important attacking elements. Defensively, La Real will have holding midfielder Martin Zubimendi return to the lineup after sitting out their last La Liga victory due to suspension.
The club is already without a long list of players: Moahmed Ali-Cho, Alex Sola, Ander Guevara, Jon Pacheco, Andoni Gorosabel, and forward Umar Sadiq.
Real Sociedad starting lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 1-Alex Remiro (GK) — 6-Aritz Elustondo, 5-Igor Zubeldia, 24-Robin Le Normand, 15-Diego Rico — 23-Brais Mendez, 3-Martin Zubimendi, 42-Pablo Marin — 14-Takefusa Kubo, 19-Alex Sorloth, 10-Mikel Oyarzabal.
Real Sociedad subs (10): 13-Andoni Zubiaurre (GK), 30-Urko Gonzalez de Zarate, 12-Aihen Munoz, 31-Jon Ander Olasagasti, 28-Ander Martin, 4-Asier Illarramendi, 22-Benat Turrientes, 7-Ander Barrenetxea, 9-Carlos Fernandez, 17-Robert Navarro
MORE: All of Barcelona's fixtures and results in 2022/23
According to Barcelona's official web site, only one of the following regions will be able to watch a live stream of the Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad match: American fans on ESPN+.
In countries in which Bet365 operates, the stream is available for registered users of the sports betting site.Date Time TV channel Streaming Australia Thu, Jan. 26 07:00 AEDT — — Canada Wed, Jan. 25 15:00 ET — — Hong Kong Thu, Jan. 26 04:00 HKT — — India Thu, Jan. 26 01:30 IST — — Malaysia Thu, Jan. 26 04:00 MYT — — New Zealand Thu, Jan. 26 09:00 NZDT — — Singapore Thu, Jan. 26 04:00 SGT — — UK Wed, Jan. 25 20:00 GMT — — USA Wed, Jan. 25 15:00 ET — ESPN+