Monday, January 30, 2023

Barcelona drawn against lowest-ranked team in Copa del Rey, Real Madrid face tough trip

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Jan 2023

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Barcelona will face the lowest-ranked team left in the Copa del Rey after being drawn with Ceuta in the last 16.

Xavi’s side will be huge favourites to reach the quarter-finals, with their next opponents propping up Group 1 of the Primera Division RFEF, Spain’s third tier.

Nevertheless, Ceuta – who beat LaLiga’s Elche in the round of 32 – will take encouragement from Barca’s struggles in the last round ahead of welcoming the Catalans to Africa’s north coast.

The top-flight leaders needed extra time to beat another third-tier side in Intercity, with Oriol Soldevila pegging them back three times to force extra time.

Ansu Fati’s extra-time goal made it 4-3 and eventually sealed Barca’s passage, but it was still alarmingly close to an upset for the Blaugrana.

The tie of the round will take place at Estadio de la Ceramica as Villarreal host Real Madrid.

Holders Real Betis were drawn at home to Osasuna, one of four all-LaLiga ties, while Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla were all paired with Segunda opposition.

Fixtures will take place across January 17, 18 and 19.

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