Copa del Rey: The rebellion of supporting actors | Sports

Copa del Rey: Ansu Fati celebrates his goal against Ceuta.
Copa del Rey: Ansu Fati celebrates his goal against Ceuta.JORGE GUERRERO (AFP)

In Barcelona they insist that the priority of Xavi Hernández’s team is the League. They say it in the offices of the Camp Nou, in the sports management and in the coaching staff. And they affirm it since the season began, long before the Barcelona team said goodbye to the Champions League. “In the Champions League we have to compete, we have to win the League,” they stressed in the coaching staff. Barcelona was left out of the fight for La Orejona in the group stage, but it is the leader in the League. And, with his confidence on fire after erasing Real Madrid in the Super Cup final, Xavi chose to shake up the eleven in Barcelona’s visit to Ceuta: 10 changes compared to the team that took the field in the Riyadh classic. “They are not secondary actors. They are from the squad and they are very important, they have played very important games and they will be important from now until the end of the season”, defended the Barca coach. And the majority agreed with Xavi in ​​the win against Ceuta. The secondary actors rebelled.

AD Ceuta FC


Mejías, D. Alfonso, Alain García, R. Lafarge, Juan Gutierrez, Adri Cuevas (Pablo, min. 57), Antoñito, Jota, Alberto Reina, Aisar and Rodri (S. Casais, min. 77)



Iñaki Peña, Marcos Alonso (A. Christensen, min. 73), Héctor Bellerín, Eric Garcia, Alba, Pablo Torre (Gavi, min. 45), Sergi Roberto (Busquets, min. 73), Kessié Franck, Lewandowski, Raphinha and Ferrán Torres (Ansu Fati, min. 60)

goals 0-1 min. 40: Raphinha. 0-2 min. 50: Lewandowski. 0-3 min. 69: Ansu Fati. 0-4 min. 76: Kessie Franck. 0-5 min. 89: Lewandowski.

Referee Juan Martinez Munuera

Yellow cards Antonio (min. 39)

The Cup became a good time to activate the competition, especially so that the players who played a less relevant role in the victory against Madrid put in check the idea that Xavi already found the eleven. A good moment of vindication, for example, for Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Raphinha, Kessie, Bellerín and Eric García. Also for the debut in the first team of Ángel Alarcón. The 18-year-old striker replaced Raphinha in the 80th minute and became the ninth youth player to debut with Xavi on the bench. Happy for Angel. A debut is always exciting. For him and for those of the house. I made my debut against Ceuta at the Camp Nou and now it’s his turn,” said Sergi Roberto, one of the Barça captains. And he added: “There are players who don’t have as many minutes and, when this game comes around, it’s not easy to play after standing still. But they have played a good game. We leave happy.”

The defenders did not fail in defense and even Eric García encouraged an escalation in attack that ended in the fifth Barca goal. The focus, in any case, was on the attack. Barça will not be able to count on Lewandowski and Ferran Torres in the next two league games, both suspended. The Pole, for his part, continues with his scoring habit. He has 21 goals in 23 games, present on the scoreboard in the classic, also against Ceuta. “Robert has shown that he is a tremendous professional. He has been perfect so that he does not slow down due to the sanction, ”said the Barça coach. Ferran Torres, however, is still away from the goal. “Maybe Ferran is missing the goal, but I’m happy with him,” Xavi said. A very different script for Ansu Fati added his third goal in the last two weeks (one every 58 minutes). “We agreed with Ansu for half an hour because he will start on Sunday and it will be important for the team. He has come out as a Barcelona footballer has to come out. He is at a very good level and is going to be important for the team”, Xavi praised him.

Raphinha also asked for a clue. The Brazilian striker opened the scoring in Ceuta, the third goal scored by Barcelona from outside the box this season. “We are improving in many facets. Two or three weeks ago we were not so fine and now we are more solvent. The Super Cup must give us that leap in quality to believe that we can compete with anyone. It has been good for us ”, recalled Xavi, who celebrated the attitude of his boys against Ceuta. “We have shown that we want to. Extra motivated, serious and professional. We are happy. We show that we have a great squad”. Along the same lines, Sergi Roberto closed: “These games, in these fields, cost a lot. For them they are very special and we knew we had to play a serious game”.

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