Dembélé resolved the duel against Cornellà.Enric Fontcuberta / .
Dembélé got Barça out of a major hurry. The Frenchman bent Ramón Juan’s hands in extra time, the third for the Barça team in eight days, after an exercise in sterility never seen before because the Barça players missed up to two penalties, both rejected by the Cornellà goal, the hero of the night and, at 21, a symbol of the Baix Llobregat club. Ramón Juan’s saves left Barcelona as exposed as Atlético and Madrid in their day. There was no way to defeat the goal in a game in which Barça’s life was going, distanced in the League, badly standing in the Champions League, defeated in the Super Cup and surviving in the Cup due to Dembélé’s rebellion.
The Frenchman avoided collective derision and redeemed himself individually after missing a penalty that reflected Cornellà’s match. He shot to the center and Ramón Juan rejected the ball with his right foot, barely moving, just as decisive as in the previous maximum penalty against Pjanic. The goalkeeper repeatedly denied an erratic Barça, without aim or fang, exposed to any accident, as if he did not want to score in the absence of the sanctioned Messi.
The game was played to the rhythm of Barça. The Catalans took the ball and demanded defensively from Cornellà. The chances, however, were scarce at the beginning because the forwards were not coming into play and the midfielders were missing a mid-range shot despite the presence of Pjanic. The Bosnian played a lot without the team getting anywhere, lacking football and without surprise, excessively centrifuged, reduced by the containment system provided by Fernández Romo. Interest was reduced to set pieces, especially corner kicks, the fate that decides many of the uneven Cup matches.
The strategy evens out any contest and usually destabilizes Barcelona, lacking in defensive organization, sheltered by Araújo’s size and courage. The Uruguayan intimidates with his physique in his area and in the opposite, touched at the exit of a corner by Estellés. The referee whistled a penalty without anyone protesting in Cornellà. The doubts seized instead Barcelona. Griezmann ignores the 11-meter shots, repetitive in the failure, and Braithwaite does not want to know anything, clumsy against Eibar. The statistics favored Pjanic until his shot at mid-height and to the right of the goalkeeper was rejected by Ramón Juan.
The goal with a Cornellà helmet grew against Pjanic and complicated the match for Barcelona. In the absence of spaces, footballers run over on an artificial grass field, missing a penalty is a sentence for the team forced to make a difference, with the game or with the plays, none as grateful as the maximum penalty unless the beneficiary is the Barca. Pjanic did not hit with the ball still and did not hit Griezmann and Braithwaite in their unchecks or in their shots. The forwards did not give foot with ball to despair of the media and Koeman. The most glaring blunder was Braithwaite when he was left alone with Ramón.
Dembélé was already on the field when the Dane defeated after the coach had replaced Riqui Puig. Masia’s favorite midfielder had no impact on the game, less participatory even than debutant Ilaix Moriba, an 18-year-old midfielder who compares Pogba due to his physique.
The substitutes did not stand out and the holders did not make a difference either in superiority situations, erratic in the one-on-one with the goalkeeper, especially Griezmann in a frank shot against Ramón. The Barça mistake emboldened Cornellà and led to an open contest, with goal options in both goals.
Cornellà held up well and Barça did not resolve. There were many innocuous players, none as apathetic as Trincão. Araújo’s Barça lived and Neto intervened more than Ramón. Koeman became so impatient that he turned to Busquets and Pedri. The changes agitated the team and the game turned in favor of Barça with a penalty from Pol Moreno to Lenglet. And then Dembélé failed. The goalkeeper got bigger and the Barça forwards got smaller until extra time came and the Frenchman hit a shot that beat the goal.
Braithwaite’s 0-2 was a gift from Pedri when the Barça fans were already blowing and Cornellà had surrendered, supported until extra time by Ramón Juan. The success of the goal was as recognized as the Barça tips were recriminated. The Catalans lacked hit after giving up the game, so pressured that they give him panic attacks at the penalty spot (10 hits out of 17 this season) even in Cornellà. No one claimed responsibility in an appointment arranged for the substitutes to request passage after the defeat of the starters in the Super Cup.