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the hot notes of Ceuta-Barça

BarcelonaBarça beat Ceuta to advance to the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Raphinha, Lewandowski (2), Ansu Fati and Kessie decisively dealt with Alfonso Murube. No mercy, no room for doubt. Below, some hot notes from the game.

lesson learned Barça’s triumph is that of a professional, mature team. It was the typical commitment in which you could suffer a scare even if the rival was the leader of a First RFEF group. A favorable scenario for a repeat of the underwhelming moments of a couple of weeks ago against Intercity, in which extra time was needed to reach the goal. However, the team applied themselves with patience, calmness and solidity from the first minute. With an eleven full of substitutes, yes, but with the lesson learned regarding the experience of Rico Pérez. Having overcome these two cheating qualifiers, the Cup now becomes more glamorous. And Barça has the obligation to win it. There should be no state title shot left, this season.

A heavy joke, Ferran. With good judgement, and knowing that he is sanctioned in the League, Xavi placed Lewandowski in the starting line-up so as not to put Ansu Fati at risk. On either side of the Pole, two forwards who are currently substitutes at Barça despite having cost, together, around 100 million euros. However, there are nuances, like everything in life, and in this case they harm Ferran Torres compared to Raphinha. If the Brazilian, who is known to be behind Dembélé, looks to prove – and sometimes succeeds – with goals and sparks that the coach is wrong, the Valencian, who will now have less competition because Memphis has left, remains immersed in the ‘spiral of irrelevance that has dragged on for weeks. There is no attacker in the Barcelona squad who contributes less with the ball than him.

Ansu, head up. There are ways and ways to spend your money on a striker, yes. And that of Ferran Torres, a year after his arrival from Manchester City, would not be the most edifying. Guardiola’s former disciple lasted 60 minutes on the Ceuta turf. Xavi made it Barça’s second change so that Ansu could roll a bit ahead of the League duels in which he will occupy the front line of attack due to Lewandowski’s suspension. And what if the Hispanoguinean took advantage of it! He had been on the pitch for 10 minutes and rode vertically to score 0-3 with an ease that can only be seen in boys who, like him, have the gift of scoring. Like a diesel engine due to its muscular complication, Ansu begins to carburate as we all like. His goal at Betis a week ago and the good minutes in Ceuta go along these lines.

A guaranteed pass. With Busquets and De Jong rested after their side against Real Madrid in Riyadh, the defensive pivot in Ceuta went to Sergi Roberto. It had been a long time – since the days with Valverde on the bench, in fact – that the Reusense had not occupied the base in the middle of the Blaugrana field, but he showed Alfonso Murube that he has a good memory. The years pass and it remains difficult to find a player more capable of not being out of tune in whatever role he has to play. He masters the Barça language with the classic orthodoxy that coaches fall in love with. That’s why Xavi does like Luis Enrique, El Txingurri, Setién and Koeman: he uses Roberto to guarantee at least the approval in all kinds of scenarios. It is understood that the man from Terrasse asks again, despite Mateu Alemany’s decision, that the current second captain of the squad continue for one or two more years.

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