Unionistas Salamanca vs Barcelona Copa del Rey

Unionistas Salamanca vs Barcelona Copa del Rey

A brilliant first-half volley from Alvaro Gomez stunned Barcelona in the Copa del Rey round of 16, but Xavi Hernandez’s men roared back to win 3-1, silencing mounting doubts after the Super Cup thrashing by Real Madrid.

Coming off a painful defeat, Barcelona desperately needed a Copa del Rey triumph to restore the faith. “Winning the Copa is an objective,” declared Jules Kounde, emphasizing the importance of the competition. “We have to react and continue forward with intensity, that’s what we’re lacking this year.”

Seeking a response, Xavi opted for rotation, handing a rare start to 18-year-old striker Marc Guiu alongside Joao Felix. The gamble almost backfired spectacularly as Unionistas, fired up by the packed Reina Sofia, spurned a golden opportunity within a minute. However, the fairytale moment arrived on the quarter-hour mark, Gomez acrobatically volleying Juan Serrano’s cross home to send the stadium into raptures.

Unionistas nearly doubled their lead before Barcelona struck right back through Ferran Torres. In a moment of blistering counter-attacking brilliance, Torres sprinted from his own half, composed himself, and slotted the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

The second half saw Barcelona dominate, with Jules Kounde heading home from a corner to give them the lead for the first time. Alejandro Balde wrapped up the victory late on, ensuring a tense affair ended in a comfortable margin for the Catalans.

While the win will ease some pressure on Xavi, it’s far from a complete solution. Kounde’s rallying cry to “be more decisive” echoes the concerns of many fans. Barcelona still have much to prove, but for now, they can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on regaining their swagger in the upcoming matches.