Brazilian defender Dani Alves made his second Barcelona debut as he returned in the team’s comeback win against third division side Linares in the Copa Del Rey.
Barcelona started the new year with a 1-0 win against Mallorca in the La Liga but fielded a weakened side for the trip to the third division side.
The unfancied hosts took the lead in the first half for what looked like an unlikely victory.
Hugo Diaz found the back of the net in the 19th minute of the game against a starting eleven that had Jordi Alba, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingeuza, and Eric Garcia.
Dani Alves, Sergio Busquet Ms and Riqui Puig fed the inexperienced front line of Nico, Ilias Akhomach and Ferran Jutgla.
However, the second half saw early substitutions as Pique, Frankie De Jong, and Ousmane Dembele were introduced into the game.
The French forward, Dembele, drew the game level before youngster Ferran Jutgla won the game with a late goal.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez had envisaged a challenging game before the game, talking about how tough the game would be and the kind of strategy the hosts would deploy.
Nevertheless, he stated that the priority for the Copa Del Ray is the same as that of the La Liga and European competitions, stating that the team is also focused on winning the competition.
“Our aim is to win the Cup, regardless of other competitions, as we are the holders.” Xavi said.
In other matches in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday evening, Real Sociedad beat Leganes 3-2, while Valencia also won 2-1 against Cartagena.
Real Sociedad claimed a narrow 3-2 victory over Leganes, Real Betis thrashed Real Valladolid 3-0, and Mallorca won Eibar 2-1. The biggest upset of the night was Primera División RFEF team Atletico Baleares defeating La Liga club Celta Vigo 2-1. Manel Martinez scored twice to send Celta Vigo out of the Copa Del Rey.
Written by: Daniel Ademiju Idowu