Barcelona came from a goal down to beat Linares 2-1 at Estadio Municipal de Linarejos on Wednesday night in the Copa del Rey.
Hugo Diaz fired the hosts into a 19th minute lead only for Ousmane Dembele – a second-half substitute – to equalise three minutes after the hour mark. Ferran Jutgla won it six minutes later.
The result means that Barcelona progress into the next round of the Copa, a competition they of course won last season after beating Athletic Club 4-0 in the final at La Cartuja.
Linares have proven themselves a difficult side to play during their Copa campaign. They beat Gimnastic on penalties in the first round before knocking Alaves out in the second.
Barcelona, due to their Supercopa de Espana commitments, have only just entered the Copa, and they’ll view it as one of the only competitions they can win this season.
A late bid to challenge Real Madrid for La Liga is unlikely, while they’ve already been knocked out of the Champions League. All that’s left for the Blaugrana is the Copa and the Europa League.
Dani Alves, who made his second debut for Barcelona on the night, was elated to be back in action after the game. “Xavi put together a system where I could get on the ball more and control the play,” he said in comments carried by DAZN and Marca.
“I played between the middle and the wide positions, filling spaces. It’s a position I can dominate, especially when I have players of quality beside me making things easier.
“It was a special day for everything that happened. To come back, to relive moments in La Liga and the Copa. It’s been magical, and we’ve made a great effort. We must learn to compete and fight until the last moment – it’s only those who fight who win.”