LIVE: Barcelona vs Cultural Leonesa

Juan Miranda

Yellow Card

Barcelona

36′ Miranda sticks out a leg and catches Romero with a late challenge, leaving the referee with no choice but to show the Barcelona youngster the first yellow card of the game.

34′ Rodriguez, who has been one of Cultural’s better performers so far, gets himself into a good position deep down the right wing. He then swings a deep cross into the Barcelona penalty area, but there’s nobody there to meet it and Semedo can chest the ball into the hands of Cillessen.

32′ Rakitic and Munir link up once again as Barcelona exploit more space, but the latter’s strike from just outside the box has far too much power behind it and sails over the top of the crossbar.

30′ Another chance for Denis! Cultural are carved open on the break, with Alena this time playing an important role in the build up. He pokes a clever pass over to Denis, who quickly shoots but has his strike parried away by Palatsi.

28′ Barcelona are guilty of some sloppy play of their own inside the final third of the pitch, but Semedo is eventually able to amend for his earlier error by winning the ball back on the edge of the penalty area.

Denis Suárez

Goal

Barcelona

26′ GOAL! Denis makes it 2-0! Cultural are caught open once again, allowing the midfielder to fly forward and cut on to his right foot before firing a bouncing shot into the far corner. There was no stopping that!

I. Rakitić

Assist

Barcelona

26′ Once again it was Rakitic who provided the assist. The Croatian did well to quickly pick out Denis, who was in a great position after sloppy play from the visitors.

24′ Barcelona pile plenty of bodies forward as they make Cultural work hard once again. They’re unable to carve out a chance on goal before Rakitic eventually shoots, but his effort from distance is overhit and fails to trouble Palatsi.

22′ Munir hits the post! The forward is easily able to beat his marker and burst into the box, where he only has Palatsi to beat. He manages to get the better of the goalkeeper with a thumping strike but ends up smashing the woodwork instead of finding the back of the net.

20′ Cultural quickly try to attack from the restart and make their way down the right flank, but Barcelona have plenty of bodies back and are able to shepherd the ball out of play for a goal kick.

I. Rakitić

Assist

Barcelona

18′ That was a good run and pass from Rakitic but Cultural will be disappointing with their defending there. They left themselves slightly open and made it easy for the Barcelona duo.

Munir

Goal

Barcelona

18′ GOAL! Munir fires Barcelona in the lead! Rakitic darts towards the edge of the box before teeing up Munir, who spins and fires a great shot into the top-right corner of the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

17′ Cultural may be willing to push bodies forward but it’s already starting to leave them open at the back. Spaces have started appearing for Barcelona, who are surely going to start exploiting them soon enough.

15′ Rodriguez is caught late in the middle of the pitch and wins a free kick for the visitors. They’re unable to make it count, though, as the ball eventually makes its way into the hands of Cillessen.

13′ Almost a chance for Munir! Malcom cuts on to his left foot and swings a lovely cross into the middle of the box, where Munir is waiting. The forward beats his marker and rises high but he can’t quite latch on to the ball in front of goal.

11′ Semedo breaks down the right wing and delivers a cross into the penalty area, but it’s sent too near to Palatsi and is easily collected by the goalkeeper before it can find a team-mate.

9′ Cultural push forward once again as they continue showing attacking intent, but a throughball from Albizua can only find Mance in an offside position.

7′ It’s been a good start to the game from Cultural, who aren’t scared to push bodies forward. They did a really good job of frustrating Barcelona in the first leg and are immediately looking to do the same tonight.

5′ Munir goes close! A looping cross is fired into the middle of the Cultural box and picks out the striker, who gets a head on the ball with his back to goal but sends his effort a yard or so wide of the far post.

4′ Barcelona push forward on their first attack of the night, with Alena breaking down the left flank. He heads towards the byline before cutting a deflected pass back to Rakitic, who then blasts a 20-yard strike high over the crossbar.

3′ Cultural start to the game on the front foot and are able to win themselves an early corner over on the right wing. It’s sent short before a looping cross is fired into the penalty area, where Barcelona are just about able to clear the danger after a few chaotic seconds.

1′ We’re off! It’s Cultural who get us underway.

The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.

Meanwhile, Cultural boss Victor Cea has made seven alterations to the team that featured at the Estadio Reino de Leon, with Saul, Ivan Gonzalez, Escalante, Sergio Marcos, Liberto Beltran, Zelu and Aridane making way for Alonso, Albizua, Diaz, Yeray Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Mance and Sene.

Ernesto Valverde has decided to make four changes to the Barcelona side that took to the field in the first leg, with Vermaelen, Rakitic, Busquets and Alena coming into the starting line-up to replace Jorge Cuenca, Arturo Vidal, Sergi Samper and Dembele, respectively.

Cultural Leonesa substitutes: Aridane, Antonio Martinez, Ivan Gonzalez, Zelu, Eneko Capilla, Dionicio Escalante, Samuel Diarra.

Cultural Leonesa XI (4-1-4-1): Jorge Palatsi; Jose Alonso, Vicente Romero, Albizua, Victor Diaz; Yeray Gonzalez; Hugo Rodriguez, Adrian Mance, Jesus Bernal, Josep Sene; Jorge Ortiz.

Barcelona substitutes: Clement Lenglet, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Riqui Puig, Guillem Jaime.

Barcelona XI (4-3-3): Jasper Cillessen; Nelson Semedo, Chumi Brandariz, Thomas Vermaelen, Juan Miranda; Ivan Rakitic, Oriol Busquets, Carles Alena; Malcom, Munir, Denis Suarez.

There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up today…

Could Cultural make history by scoring a goal against Barcelona for the first time in their history? The two sides previously met in the Copa del Rey back in the 2009-10 campaign, with the Blaugrana winning 7-0 on aggregate. In fact, Barcelona have conceded only one goal against a team from the third-tier or below in three years, with Hercules last managing to do so back in November 2016.

It’s proving to be a difficult period for Cultural, who are without a victory since the end of October and find themselves on a five-game winless run in the league. Their opponents, on the other hand, have only been beaten by Real Betis in their previous 13 matches and moved to the top of LaLiga with a 2-0 triumph over Villarreal on Sunday.

Cultural gave their illustrious opponents a real run for their money at the end of October, but it’s going to take something very special for them to avoid defeat, let alone win, tonight. Barcelona have lost just one of their last 40 home games across all competitions, although that came against Real Betis in stunning circumstances only four weeks ago.

Barcelona may have won each of the last four editions of the Copa del Rey but they were made to work extremely hard in their first test of the season, with an injury-time goal from Clement Lenglet handing them the narrowest of 1-0 victories. Back on home turf, fans will be expecting a more decisive display as they aim to book their place in the last 32.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of today’s Copa del Rey last 32 tie between Barcelona and Cultural Leonesa at Camp Nou.

source: GOAL

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