Barcelona beats 10-man Sociedad 1-0 to reach Copa semifinals

Wed, Jan 25, 2023
Other News (AP)

Barcelona beats 10-man Sociedad 1-0 to reach Copa semifinals

MADRID (AP) - Ousmane Dembele's goal early in the second half helped Barcelona defeat 10-man Real Sociedad 1-0 at home on Wednesday to reach the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.

The result ended a nine-game winning streak for Sociedad, which played a man down from the 40th minute after Brais Mendez was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets.

It was Sociedad's 27th straight loss to Barcelona as a visitor. It hasn't won at the Catalan club in 31 matches, dating to 1991.

The Basque Country side arrived as one of the hottest teams in Spain with 21 wins in 28 matches in all competitions this season, with 13 of those wins coming in away games. It had lost only four times overall and is third in the Spanish league, six points behind leader Barcelona.

Barcelona was in control for most of the match, though, and opened the scoring in the 52nd through Dembele's angled shot from inside the area after a pass into space by defender Jules Kounde.

Sociedad had a couple of good chances near the end but couldn't capitalize on them, with Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen coming up with big saves.

Barcelona was eliminated in the round of 16 last season and won the Copa in 2021 for its last title before the departure of Lionel Messi. The Catalan club has won four matches in a row, including the Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia.

Barcelona coach Xavi had Robert Lewandowski back after the Poland striker couldn't play against Getafe in the Spanish league because of a suspension.

Sociedad was without veteran playmaker David Silva because of a muscle injury.

Barcelona eliminated third-division club Ceuta in the round of 16, while Sociedad got past Mallorca.

Struggling Sevilla visits Osasuna in the other quarterfinal on Wednesday. Real Madrid hosts city rival Atletico Madrid on Thursday, and Athletic Bilbao visits Valencia.

The draw for the semifinals will be on Monday.

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