Barcelona were very close to a historic shame in the second game under manager Quique Setien. Without taking Messi, Busquets, and Pique to face Ibiza, and with other players such as Ter Stegen and Jordi Alba on the bench, the coach bet high and almost paid dearly in the search for a place in the round of 16 of the King’s Cup.
Unrecognizable, especially in the first half, Barcelona struggled against the Spanish third tier team, who went ahead on the scorer early and had control of the match until the middle of the second half.
Ibiza played the role expected of the small team that receives one of the country’s giants: they held on to defense, betting on counterattacks. Barcelona’s lack of creativity made things easier for the home side, who saw the Catalan giants near their area, but not creating.
On the first counter, Brazilian Rai Nascimento crossed from the left, Riqui Puig missed the mark and Javi Perez struck a first-time effort. The ball deflected off Caballe and entered the left corner of goalkeeper Neto: 1-0 Ibiza.
Not even the goal conceded could wake up Barcelona, who finished the first half without a single shot on goal. Ibiza scored another goal, well ruled out due to a foul from the attack, and almost scored again at the 38th, but the crossbar prevented Rai’s goal. Neto still had to save the Catalan side two more times before the half time.
In the second half, already with Alba, Arthur, and Vidal on the pitch, Barca managed to have some offensive organization. Still, the chances to score were scarce. The clearest one were the two that guaranteed the victory by 2-1, both from Griezmann, who didn’t play well but saved the team.
The draw came at the 72nd minute when De Jong split the defense and the French striker slid a left-footed finish past Parreno. The comeback came at 90+4, again with the number 17, showing that it is not necessary to be the man of the match to be the most important player on the field.
After the difficult win, Barcelona will focus once again in La Liga, where they will face Valencia away, on Friday. Ibiza, playing the third division (or Segunda Division B, as they call in Spain), will face SS Reyes on Sunday.