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Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad: Ousmane Dembele's second-half strike is the difference

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Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad: Ousmane Dembele's second-half strike is the difference

Barcelona 1-0 Real Sociedad: Ousmane Dembele’s second-half strike was the difference as Xavi’s side booked their place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals after Brais Mendez was sent off for the visitors

  • Winger Ousmane Dembele netted in the 52nd minute to give Barcelona the lead
  • The goal came after Brais Mendez was sent off for Real Sociedad in the first half
  • Dembele’s goal sends Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey

Ousmane Dembele ran Real Sociedad into disarray at the Camp Nou and sent Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Spanish Cup with a brilliant second-half goal.

Xavi’s side were aided by the miss of the season from Real Sociedad striker Alexander Sorloth, and Brais Mendes’ silly first-half dismissal. But with the Basques standing firm in defense despite the numerical disadvantage some magic was still needed and the French winger provided it.

When Dembele is really on form, he’s not at a size where he can’t play.

Ousmane Dembele's second-half goal was enough to send Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey

Ousmane Dembele’s second-half goal was enough to send Barcelona into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey

The Frenchman's goal came after Brais Mendez was sent off for Real Sociedad in the first half

The Frenchman’s goal came after Brais Mendez was sent off for Real Sociedad in the first half

He doesn’t have the reliability or goalscoring consistency of Barça’s other flying Frenchman, Thierry Henry, but he has more va-va-voom and when he broke through the Real Sociedad defense seven minutes into the second half to strike the ball. Alex Remiro is good enough to make even his biggest critics forget the lapses of concentration and misplaced passes that sometimes litter his game.

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Kounde’s ball over the top dislodged him. He stops his run well to stay on the edge. His first touch sent the ball away from him but he was so quick he reached it in a heartbeat and with his second touch he whipped the ball past Remiro at his near post.

The keeper waved an arm at the rocket shot but was unable to stop it. The obvious choice is a cross to Robert Lewandowski but not to Dembele – a law in itself for better and for worse and in the most important games for Barcelona it costs a place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Dembele's winner cost them a place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals as the Frenchman ran out Sociedad thrashing

Dembele’s winner cost them a place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals as the Frenchman ran out Sociedad thrashing

When he was taken off on 83 minutes, the Camp Nou gave him a standing ovation. Barça then should have been away from Real Sociedad but somehow the score was still 1-0. It stayed that way as Barça came through.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men four minutes before half-time when Mendes was hauled off and sent off. He passed the ball to Sergio Busquets who was only fouled by Kubo. At first it looked like he would run away with a yellow but when Jesus Gil looked to the sideline the kick was clear to Busquets’ elbow and the midfielder was cleared.

Real Sociedad went to a back five for the second half and with a superb Kubo against his former club there is hope. He hit a free-kick against the wall and drew a foul from Pedri for which the midfielder saw a yellow. And Kubo set up the miss of the night – miss of the season maybe.

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The Japan international squeezed the ball into the six-yard box and from three yards Sorloth – who has been superb all season – somehow managed to scoop the ball over the bar. Kubo deserves more from the night. He hit the bar in the first half with a rare chance at Real Sociedad as Barça dominated before being dismissed.

But it was Dembele’s tie. Before he could be taken off he went past two more Real Sociedad defenders on the edge of the area but Remiro saved his shot. He also got past Munoz and played the ball back to Gavi who flashed his shot onto the crossbar.

‘La Real’ refused to be quiet and when Ter Stegen gifted them the ball late on it was quickly played to Robert Navarro only for the substitute to send the ball wide.

The German keeper converted two minutes into injury time when he pushed away Jon Ander Olasagasti’s shot to avoid extra time.