Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite goals in extra time sealed a 2-0 win for Barca, but only after Miralem Pjanic and Dembele both failed to score penalties in regular time.
Barcelona players celebrate after Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele scores his team’s first goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey knockout round match between Cornella and FC Barcelona at the Nou Municipal Stadium in Cornella, Spain, on Thursday, January 21, 2021. (AP Photo / Joan Monfort)
Madrid: Ronald Koeman criticized his Barcelona players for missing two penalties on Thursday as they needed extra time to finish third division Cornella’s cup run and reach the Copa del Rey in the last 16. < Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite goals in extra time sealed a 2-0 win for Barca, but only after Miralem Pjanic and Dembele both failed to score a penalty in regular time.
Pjanic and Dembele close one List of five Barcelona players who missed penalties this season, along with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Braithwaite.
« I don’t understand because there are usually enough players who can score penalties, » said Barca -Trainer Koeman. « Maybe they’re scary, I don’t know. Several players have failed and especially if you score either penalty, calm down.
Barca were looking for a response to the shock loss to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup- Sunday’s final when Messi was sent off for the first time for the club.
After Messi was suspended, a rotating line-up prevailed after a third straight overtime in eight days.
Pjanic missed the first penalty in the 39th minute after Albert Estelles’ Ronald Araujo fell under a high foot and Cornella’s goalkeeper Ramon Juan emerged to his right.
Griezmann and Braithwaite both failed early in the second half and Griezmann shot after one clever free kick by Pjanic on the volley.
Another penalty in the 80th minute after another Estelles mistake offered a golden chance, this time a handball. Dembele rose, but the result was the same. Ramon Juan held his urge again in the middle.
Cornella, who defeated Atletico Madrid in the preliminary round, saw his resistance only two minutes in overtime as the power of Dembele’s shot from distance was too great for the goalkeeper who could only deflect the ball off the crossbar.
Estelles ended his nightmare night by being sent off before Braithwaite added a second to the counter attack.
January 22, 2021 9:44:53 AM IST
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Barca face Real Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in the final on Sunday, when Messi is expected to be available again despite full-time coach Ronald Koeman being careful.
Second-placed Real Madrid were one point behind Atletico after being played 0-0 in Osasuna in a game with constant snowfall and barely any scoring opportunities for either side.
Takefusa Kubo, nicknamed « the Japanese Messi », returned to Spain in 2019 when he joined Real Madrid but has yet to play for the club.
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