Former Barcelona junior Oriol Soldevila scored a hat trick against his old club but still ended on the losing side as third tier InterCity took the LaLiga giants to extra time before losing 4-3 in a dramatic Copa del Rey tie on Wednesday.
InterCity, promoted to the third division last season, came from behind three times to force extra time after a 3-3 draw at the end of 90 minutes, but were then knocked out when substitute Ansu Fati netted a 103rd-minute winner in Alicante to put Barca in the round of 16.
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Ronald Araujo, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha were Barcelona’s other scorers while the 21-year-old Soldevila netted his three goals in a 25-minute second-half spell including a dramatic third in the 86th minute to take the tie to extra time.
“We can’t be happy but these things can happen in the Copa,” Barca manager Xavi Hernandez said after the match. “Seven top flight teams have been knocked out. We did not kill the game off when we were in front. We could have made it 0-2, 2-4, but we made things difficult for ourselves. We were not good enough in both boxes.
“It’s the same feeling we had after the Espanyol game [on Saturday]. That was a warning and this is another one.”
Soldevila spent two years at the Barcelona academy before moving to England for two seasons at Birmingham City, where he failed to break through into the first team.
“The Copa is like this, we know it, it’s not easy,” Araújo said. “It’s important that we learn from it and correct our mistakes.”
The game was played not long after Spain’s administrative court for sports upheld a three-game suspension for Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski in the Spanish league, taking him out of the league match against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. He had not been in the squad for the Copa match against Intercity.
The suspension had been lifted by a court of disputes after an appeal by Barcelona. The Poland striker had been allowed to play in last weekend’s 1-1 league draw against Espanyol, which later challenged the result of the derby saying it was harmed by the unexpected decision by the Madrid court to temporarily lift the suspension.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and Real Betis had not played until this round because they are part of the Spanish Super Cup that will begin next week.