• Direct Narration and Statistics

Dropped in the League, condemned to a suburban future in Europe and eliminated by Real Madrid in the Super Cup, Barcelona continued their journey through hell with elimination in the round of 16 of the Cup. The only trophy they defended. Xavi Hernández's team couldn't even take advantage of Pedri starting an extra time in added time after Athletic had run over him. Jordi Alba crowned his horrible night by sticking his arm out for a walk in the area.

Nico Williams

, uncontrollable, and Iker Muniain, sublime and who scored his second goal from a penalty, pinned a Barça that does not get up to the ground.

It would be convenient to recreate yourself in a scene.

Still with the score at 1-1,

Dani Alves

and

Jordi Alba

set out to decide who should take a free kick.

The image, far from revealing any emotion, reminded Barcelona that it is still tied to the demons of its past.

Alba, by the way, was the one who fired.

He fell on his ass.

Athletic subjected Barcelona to a long torture to which Xavi never found a remedy.

Although there were many causes, starting with Nico Williams being run over at twilight by Alba or Dani Alves's evident nightfall on the opposite shore, what weighed on the most was the chaotic positioning of the players.

Players who neither opposed combativeness nor precision.

Ferran's scoring debut

Released

Nico Williams

, Alba could only move her arms fast, not her legs.

The winger left his defender so far behind, so drowned in an uneven chase, that he was still able to ruminate the center.

Sancet had the ball left behind, but not Muniain, sublime in his thread.

Surrealism and poetry tend to have a good fit with football.

Hence, both

Dembélé

's exclusion for refusing to renew his contract and the player's strange reaction through a historic statement can be normalized.

"Surely love is a variant of blackmail," the footballer wrote.

Or the soccer player's scribe.

At this point in the grotesque, what difference does it make.

Xavi rebuilt the front with

Jutglà

,

Abde

and, above all,

Ferran Torres

.

He was changing the flank in full search for spaces when he responded with the equalizing goal.

The former City player, who has needed two games to score the same goals (one) as Dembélé in eight months, showed that he has the gift of finishing.

Out of nowhere he adjusted his fingernail to spin the ball from the apex to the top corner.

But that action was a mirage.

Nico continued to strike down the lane, Muniain headed wide in an unbeatable position, Alves repeated a mistake that Piqué was able to correct, and

Ter Stegen

denied goals.

Ansu Fati's injury

Xavi, who hardly saw any light in

Pedri

in a midfield converted into a forest track -

Gavi

was blurred -, tried to rebuild himself with the income of Nico González -separated to the extreme-,

Frenkie de Jong

-who continues his descent to hell- and

Ansu Fati

. Little did it matter that the young striker was reserved from the start. It lasted half an hour before bursting again.

Ansu can

not get

away from that infirmary that so threatens his consolidation as a star.

While Marcelino, emboldened by the performance of his team, had to resort to

Iñaki Williams due

to

Sancet's

injury

.

Iñaki, the traditional scourge of Barça, did not take long to team up with his brother, Nico, to unsettle the visitors even more.

He even finished off the crossbar before

Iñigo Martínez

, already in the 86th minute and after Muniain's umpteenth free kick from the side, took advantage of

Piqué's

lack of opposition

in a second play to make it 2-1.

Result that, with Pedri in the field, could not be definitive.

Because the canary knew how to convert a faulty Chilean by Alves into a redemptive whiplash in minute 93 that took the duel to extra time.

Pedri's muscles no longer resisted the extension.

And with the withdrawal of his angel, Xavi's Barcelona could not help but let himself fall.

Inert.

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