Barcelona vs Real Sociedad summary: Dembélé winner, score, goals, highlights, Copa del Rey 2022-23
Full-time: Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad
It's all over! Ousmane Dembélé's goal puts Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey against 10-man Real Sociedad!
The opening stages of the clash suggested we might see an end-to-end battle but Barcelona quickly asserted their dominance thanks to their intense pressing. Dembélé was the main threat from early on, creating chances for Lewandowski, whose strike was ruled out for offside, and de Jong, who poked wide at the near post. Dembélé himself and Koundé curled further efforts wide as Barcelona pushed for an opener.
Totally against the run of play, Kubo smashed an effort against the bar but that was as good as it got for La Real in the first half as Brais Méndez was sent offbefore half-time for a high challenge on Busquets.
Xavi Hernández's men got off to the best possible start in the second period, with Dembélé smashing past Remiro at his near post to settle their nerves. It was almost all Barcelona from then on but, strangely, BY FAR the best chances in the remainder of the second period fell to Real Sociedad. How Sorloth missed an open goal from four yards he/I/everyone will never know and ter Stegen gifted a chance to sub Robert Navarro but made up for his error with a crucial save.
Job done for Barcelona, who are first into the hat for the draw for the last four.
Follow the Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid Copa del Rey clash
Stayed tuned for more reaction from the game across AS USA in the next few hours and on Thursday.
And remember that we'll be brining you live coverage of tomorrow's Madrid derby between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, which kicks off at 3pm ET / 12pm PT.
Don't miss it, there'll be fireworks in that one!
Pride: "The team stood up to the challenge. I'm proud of each and every one of my team-mate. I'm really proud of them. The team stood up to the opposition and we can go home feeling proud, but sad at the same time".
Chances to equalise: "Barcelona create a lot but they didn't score, and we were hanging in there. It's a pity about the goal, they were able to get in behind us. And we had chances. The team came close to equalising and forcing extra time. But we couldn't score the equaliser".
Brais Méndez's sending off: "I think these things happen. Brais had committed a few fouls that he didn't get booked for and then he gets sent off when Kubo was fouled first. In theory, the VAR can't call the referee over because he saw it clearly. It was a harsh red, but we have to be proud of ourselves. The fact the VAR calls the referee over once he's already given a yellow card... I think there was a similar one in this stadium not long ago."
Sorloth's chance: "If you don't get them, you can't score them. Sorloth's chance was very clear-cut, to be honest. It was a shame but we're also proud of him too. His goalscoring streak has helped us a lot".
First thoughts: "It was harder for us with when they were a man down, they closed us down well. We did well to keep them in check. I'm happy because we won at home and we're still on a good run".
The physical battle with Sorloth: "I like playing against tall strikers who hold the ball up".
Dembélé's performance: "Dembélé had a great game, he's a player who can make the difference and he's making good decisions now, which was perhaps difficult for him at the start".
Xavi's possible reaction: "I'm sure Xavi will give tell us off, we could have closed out the game earlier. Now we have to correct our mistakes".
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad reaction coming up
Would you like a some reaction from the game? Of course you would! Coming right up.
Who is left in the Copa del Rey?
Just a little reminder of the remaining Copa del Rey quarter-final ties:
Osasuna and Sevilla are currently locked at 0-0 after an hour in Wednesday's other clash.
On Thursday, we'll see a mouthwatering Madrid derby (Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid) and also Valencia host Athletic Club.
This man was unplayable against Real Sociedad. He blows hot and cold but tonight was a good night for him.
CRUCIAL save from Ter Stegen!
The corner drops to Olasagasti, who gets a good strike on it but can't quite get it past the Barça keeper!
A corner for Real Sociedad...what can they do here?
Christensen goes off, Marcos Alonso comes on in his place.
Three minutes of added time to be played.
Literally five seconds after that last post, La Real get a HUGE, HUUUUUUUGE chance!
Ter Stegen inexplicably plays a loose pass into midfield and Navarro is played clean through on goal. The big German does at least atone for his error and Fernández can only turn the rebound wide.
What a twist that would've been!
Carlos Fernández on for Sorloth for the visitors.
They don't look capable of scoring.
Le Normand throws himself at Fati head first and almost gets decapitated as the attacker looks to get on the end of a cross into the box.
Remiro does just enough to shuffle the ball away from goal as Lewandowski gets his head to a corner!
A standing ovation for Dembélé as he goes off to be replaced by Ansu Fati.
Another superb pass into the box from Dembélé! Lewandowski nods it on for de Jong, who tees it up for Raphinha who...totally misses the ball. Oops.
Real Sociedad will hope those changes spark them into life for the last 10 minutes. They need some kind of inspiration from somewhere.
Marín has also gone off for Real Sociedad, replaced by Olasagasti.
Kessie and Raphinha on for Pedri and Balde for the hosts.
For La Real, Navarro replaces Kubo.
A second goal is surely coming...
With Real Sociedad camped inside their box, Balde fires one towards the corner but a blue and white jersey gets in the way.
Gavi appealing for another penalty, this time for handball as he tries to flick the ball through to Lewandowski. Referee Gil Manzano indicates it wasn't intentional.
The ball just keeps coming back towards the Real Sociedad goal at the moment...
Barcelona pressing to kill the game off. Christensen floats a lovely pass into the box but the ball drops between Pedri and de Jong, neither of whom can get the ball under control.
Barcelona dictating possession at the moment, as you'd imagine. La Real are going to have to be incredibly patient if they're to find a way back into this.
20 minutes to go.
Dembélé is again the creator with a direct run down the right. Pedri is the man on the end of his cutback this time and he cracks a first-time effort off the bar!
That's a lovely bit of play in midfield there from Gavi. He scoops the ball up beautifully to avoid a challenge before being hauled to the ground by Zubimendi. Is there anything this boy can't do?
I said at the start of the game that Real Sociedad wouldn't be looking to defend but they might have to now. They'll be looking to keep things tight at the back and break forward when the moment presents itself.
Gavi wants a penalty but I don't think he's going to get one. He plays a neat one-two with de Jong and goes down in the box but there's nothing doing.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR REAL SOCIEDAD!
How has Sorloth missed there? They won't get a better chance than that...
Kubo zips one across goal from the left and Sorloth meets it four yards out, only to fire it over an open goal.
WHAT. A. MISS.
Pedri is next in the book for another shirt pull on Kubo.
Kubo's effort eventually comes to nothing but it looked promising until it clipped Lewandowski's big old head in the wall.
A yellow card for Busquets for pulling down Barrenetxea on the edge of the box. A free-kick in a VERY dangerous position for La Real...
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL BARCELONA! DEBMÉLÉ!
The worst possible start to the half for Real Sociedad!
Dembélé gets away down the right for the millionth time (I've counted them) and just when it looks as if he's going to square to Lewandowski, he smashes it past Remiro at the near post.
What a chance for Koundé! A brilliantly worked free-kick sees Araújo knock the ball down to Koundé but the French defender completely miskicks and the grateful Remiro collects.
Elustondo does really well to get Dembélé cross out of the danger zone under pressure. You get the feeling La Real might have plenty of defending to do in their own box.
Things started to get heated as Gavi and Elustondo give each other the runaround in midfield. Gavi isn't one to back down from a fight, as we know.
Second half underway! What can Real Sociedad pull off here?
Half-time changes for Real Sociedad
Ander Barrenetxea and Aihen Muñoz are on for Mikel Oyarzabal and Diego Rico. Rico did not have a good first half...
Half-time: Barcelona 0-0 Real Sociedad
They've done it! Time for La Real to get back in and regroup.
The first five or 10 minutes suggested we could be in for an even game but Barça upped the temping of their pressing and started causing Real Sociedad all kinds of problems. Dembélé in particular was a threat down the right, crossing for Lewandowski, whose strike was ruled out for (de Jong) being offisde, while de Jong prodded one just wide of the near post. Dembélé himself and Koundé both curled further efforts just past the post as Barcelona pushed.
Completely against the run of play, Kubo fired one off the crossbar but more chances for La Real could be few and far between after Brais' VAR-assisted red card for catching Busquets with a high challenge.
I have a feeling this could be a long second half for Imanol Alguacil's men.
Chaos in the Real Sociedad box as Pedri and then Lewandowski try to get shots away but can't. They'll do well to get to half-time on level terms.
Three extra minutes to be played.
Wow! We've hardly seen Koundé in this game but the first time he gets into the opposition box, he brilliantly steps inside his man and curls one just wide of the fair post. Lovely feet (not that I've seen them).
That would've been a painful double whammy for La Real as Merino saves from Pedri after a superb flick from Lewandowski. Ah...it was called offside anyway.
RED CARD FOR BRAIS MÉNDEZ
Or should that be a red VARd (sorry...)?
Brais was late, he was high, his studs raked down Busquets' foot. Hard to complain...
The most predictable booking in the history of soccer as Brais tramples all over Busquets' toes in midfield.
Brais is again in the thick of the action. He clatters through the back of Lewandowski and that looks like a booking...Gil Manzano again keeps his cards in his pocket.
Busquets with a delightful little dragback and 'pausa' in midfield. Nobody does it better.
Brais Méndez catches Pedri with a stray elbow in midfield. It was totally accidental but you wouldn't be surprised if he got a card...It doesn't look as if he will thankfully.
Chances for both sides as Elustondo swings for and misses a volley in the Barça box before Gavi tamely curls one at Merino at the other end.
It's been all Barcelona for 25 minutes but Real Sociedad are inches away from taking the lead! Marín does brilliantly to jink between Barça players just outside the box and feeds it through to Kubo, who smashes it off the bar!
That would've been totally against the run of play.
La Real gift the ball to Dembélé 30 yards from goal but instead of shooting, which looked the best option, the Frenchman tried to pick out Lewandowski with an impossible pass and the chance is gone.
Christensen striding out of defence like peak Beckenbauer there and the Dane looked to be fouled on the edge of the box. Nothing give though.
Lewandowski is OK to continue by the way. At least for now.
A rare venture from Real Sociedad into the Barcelona box but Christensen gets rid of Rico's left-wing cross without any bother at all.
Lewandowski and Rico clatter into each other and the Pole is down. A bit of much-needed respite for La Real.
Close from de Jong!
Diego Rico is being tormented by Dembélé, who twists and turns and fires another cross into the box, which de Jong prods narrowly wide.
I said a little earlier that both teams were having good spells of possession. That's changed. It's all Barça at the moment.
Barcelona are seriously knocking on the door! Koundé takes the whole Real Sociedad midfield out with one pass to Dembélé, who drives goalwards and curls one just wide of the far corner
If that had gone in, that would've been goal of the century. Pedri's twinkletoes work there way through a sea of bodies in the opposition box and de Jong takes over, back-flicking the ball goalwards. It's straight at Remiro though.
Remino goes walkabout in his own box and Balde is able to nudge the ball past him, although Zubeldia is able to clear easily. Another move which started with a Ter Stegen pass (and included a delightful back-flick from Gavi).
Barcelona have the ball in the net! But it's offside...
Dembélé gets away down the right and again picks out Lewandowski in the middle. The Pole's shot clips off Frenkie de Jong on the way into the net but the Dutchman was offside.
It might've gone in anyway...
From the corner, the ball drops to Gavi at the edge of the area but he chokes his shot into the ground and it bobbles a yard or two wide.
The most dangerous moment so far! Ter Stegen delightfully zips one out to Dembélé who zooms down the right and cuts the ball back for Lewandowski, whose effort is blocked out for a corner.
Some decent possession from both sides in the early stages, as Xavi suggested might happen before the game. La Real won't be looking to sit back, that's for sure.
Alejandro Balde on his swinger...over! He's quite good on his 'weaker' foot in fairness but he couldn't keep that one down.
An incredibly threatening break forward from La Real as Brais Méndez barges his way through the centre of the field and plays Marín through on goal. But his pass drives the youngster a bit wide and his cross is cut out.
Dembélé forces an early corner for Barcelona. Pedri swings it into the box but it's easily cleared.
And we're off! Strap yourselves in for this one!
Jesús Gil Manzano today's referee
Jesús Gil Manzano, who you'll remember sent Robert Lewandowski off in a league game against Osasuna in November, is the man in the middle.
Here come the teams!
Real Sociedad team to face Barcelona
And this is the Real Sociedad side which will attempt to cause an upset at Camp Nou.
- 15Diego Rico
- 24Le Normand
- 3Martín Zubimendi
- 42Pablo Marín
- 14Take Kubo
Barcelona team to take on Real Sociedad
A matter of minutes until kickoff! Here's a reminder of the Barcelona line-up.
- 1Ter Stegen
- 15A. Christensen
- 4Ronald Araújo
- 28Alex Balde
- 21Frenkie De Jong
- 7Ousmane Dembélé
Real Sociedad's Copa del Rey record
La Real, meanwhile, have a rather more modest record in the competition but have had recent success.
Their third Copa del Rey triumph came in one of the two 'pandemic' finals as they defeated Basque rivals Athletic Club 1-0 in a sadly empty Carturja in Seville in April 2021. Their previous victories came in 1909 (as I'm sure you remember) and 1987.
I'm going to give you this one for free...Barcelona have won the Copa del Rey more than any other club.
But how many times? When was the last time they won it and who did they beat in the final?
'B team player' Gavi starts!
Plenty of talk today about the fact that Barcelona haven't been able to register Gavi as a first-team player with LaLiga. That doesn't mean he can't play though, just that he will feature as a 'B team' player. The A team must be pretty decent then...
Real Sociead: 2022-23 season so far
They might come into this game with some injury issues to contend with, but Real Sociedad are flying. They've won a club record nine games in a row across LaLiga and the Copa del Rey, a run which has seen them move to within three points of second-placed Real Madrid and six of leaders Barça (La Real have played a game more though). They are seven points clear of Atlético Madrid in fourth and would have to mess things right up to not make the Champions League next season.
And they are safely through to the knockout stagesof the Europa League too. This could be a memorable season.
CONFIRMED Real Sociedad team to face Barcelona
No sooner had I posted that last message than the line-up below was confirmed by La Real!
Real Sociedad team to face Barcelona
For some bizarre reason, Real Sociedad haven't confirmed their line-up themselves but I have it on good authority that it'll be this:
Remiro; Elustondo, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Rico; Brais, Zubimendi, Marín; Oyarzabal; Sorloth, Kubo.
As expected, no Merino or David Silva in midfield.
Real Sociedad shirts spotted at Camp Nou!
There had been some chat that Barcelona that wouldn't allow Real Sociedad fans to wear their club's colours in the ground, which is what happened then Espanyol visited Camp Nou at the end of December. Thankfully, common sense has prevailed...
As long as nobody wears a half-and-half scarf.
Barcelona: 2022-23 season so far
Things might not be going that great off the pitch for Barcelona but they're not half bad on it right now. If we leave their Champions League failure aside (which we really shouldn't because it's a catastrophe for them), things are going swimmingly. They beat Real Madrid to win the Spanish Super Cup a couple of weeks ago, they're three points ahead of their bitter rivals at the top of LaLiga and safely through to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Xavi's men head into this game having won 11 matches in a row, if you included extra-time and penalties (which you probably shouldn't, so maybe we should make it nine wins in 11 after 90 minutes).
Real Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil hurt by injuries
Real Sociedad head into the game without the services of Mikel Merino and David Silva, two key midfield figures:
"I have no doubts that we can win this game. If we play at our best, then why not? We've got some players missing but that's no excuse. We can win whether Silva is available or not. If we play at our best, we can beat any tean in any stadium."
Xavi Hernández: Real Sociedad play similar to us
Speaking before the game, Barcelona boss Xavi was asked if Real Sociedad were a good match for Barcelona in terms of their style of play:
"It depends how we play. We played brilliantly in the Super Cup final but found it heavy going against Getafe. I like a lot of things about the way Real Sociedad play. That's down to Imanol (Alguacil). We need to try to keep the ball off them because Zubimendi, Silva and Brais can dominate possession. Their style of play is similar to ours."
Real Sociedad: how they got here
Real Sociedad weren't involved in the Spanish Super Cup and have had an extra round to play as a result. The new format of the tournament means the higher seed plays away from home, so they were on the road for their first two games. With teams from the same division, it's the luck of the draw.
2nd round - Coria (fourth tier) 0-5 Real Sociedad
Round of 32 - Logroñés (third tier) 0-1 Real Sociedad
Round of 16 - Real Sociedad 1-0 Real Mallorca
Barcelona: how they got here
Due to taking part in the Spanish Super Cup, which they won, Barcelona entered the 2022-23 Copa del Rey at round of 32 stage. ON PAPER, they've had an easy run to quarter-finals, taking on Intercity and then Ceuta, both of who play in the third tier in Spain.
Although they absolutely battered Ceuta 5-0 in the round of 16, they survived an almighty scare in the previous round against Intercity, needing extra-time to see off the men from Alicante 4-3. I had the pleasure of covering that game and it was an absolute classic, be sure to catch up with it if you missed it.
Ousmane Dembelé starts
As if there was any doubt...
I can only say that it is warmer in Barcelona than it is elsewhere in Spain...
Barcelona team to face Real Sociedad
We've got 70 minutes to go until kick-off and the Barcelona line-up is in!
Ter Stegen; Koundé, Araújo, Christensen, Balde; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Gavi; Dembélé, Lewandowski.
Another narrow 4-4-2 incoming from Xavi's boys.
Barcelona unable to sign or register new players
Before we get into the game in any kind of detail, there's been some news in the last couple of days on Barcelona's ability (or should that be inability? Yes, it definitely should...) to sign or even register new players in the January transfer window.
Xavi had talked about snapping up a replacement for Memphis Depay but that's not going to happen and now LaLiga have prevented Barça from even registering Gavi and Ronald Araújo, two key players, as members of the first-team roster.
What on earth is going on??
Who won the Copa del Rey in 2021-22?
You'll almost certainly remember that Real Betis are the current holders of the Copa del Rey. They beat Valencia in a penalty shootout in the last final in April but there's no chance of them defending their trophy. They were dumped out in the round of 16 by Osasuna on penalties.
How does the Copa del Rey work?
We'll take a look at the two teams in a moment but first, a reminder of what the deal is with the 'new' Copa del Rey?
Of course, those of you who are in the know will be well aware that the 2022-23 Copa del Rey started all the way back in October with teams from the sixth tier of Spanish soccer taking part in the preliminary rounds. 110 of the 115 qualified clubs then faced off in the first-round proper in November and we’ve now reached the last eight, where things are pretty straightforward from now on. Win or you're out (as if that wasn't obvious).
The RFEF – the Spanish Football Federation – changed the format of the competition for the 2019-20 edition, which has made things far more interesting. More teams have entered from the lower divisions and can live the dream of competing against clubs they would normally never face (although it's true that most of the familiar faces have made it to the quarter-finals).
Real Sociedad are absolutely no mugs whatsoever, as we’ll discuss, but would beating Barcelona in Barcelona count as an upset? I think it would.
Now, of course, you might be looking for a way to watch what is absolutely certain to be a stinker of a game (let's see if that works). If you're in the US, then you're in luck! There is a way and we've got you covered (I'm sure you're looking as content as Xavi does right now).
What time does Barcelona vs Real Sociedad kick off?
Wednesday’s clash at Camp Nou gets underway at 9pm local time in Spain, that’s 3pm ET and 12pm PT. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, I’ll be bringing you build-up, team news and plenty, plenty more.
So strap yourself in, get yourself comfortable, we’re in for a wild ride.
Hello and welcome to Barcelona vs Real Sociedad!
The Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Can we say the business end of the season is here? I feel as if the end of January is too early for that…
Nevertheless, thanks for joining me (Roddy) for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey last eight clash Barcelona and Real Sociedad. This one should be a blockbuster between two of the best teams in LaLiga (you can come back to this post when it ends 0-0 and one of the two go through 1-0 on penalties…).