11:20 PM GMT
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Sam MarsdenBarcelona correspondent
Barcelona missed two penalties before finally beating third-division Cornella 2-0 after extra-time to reach the last 16 of the Copa del Rey.
Substitute Ousmane Dembele finally found the breakthrough in the 92nd minute but not before he and Miralem Pjanic had both seen spot-kicks saved by Ramon Juan Ramirez in normal time as Ronald Koeman’s side flirted with danger on Cornella’s artificial surface at the Nou Camp Municipal.
La Liga sides continue to struggle to beat lower league opposition this season. With Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid already beaten by third-tier teams, Barca were never going to have it all their own way against Cornella, a modest team from the outskirts of Barcelona who play on a plastic pitch. Therefore, getting through should be seen as a positive, even if it was hard work.
What is it with Barca and penalties? Pjanic and Dembele joined Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Braithwaite on Thursday on the list of players to have missed from the spot this season. They got away with it this time, just.
This was also supposed to be a night for Riqui Puig and Francisco Trincao to make their case for more regular football. Neither managed to do so, though, with Puig even pulled off at half-time by Koeman.
Manager rating out of 10
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Neto, 6 — Reduced to saves from long distance but did what he had to, with a stop from on-loan Birmingham City midfielder Agus Medina perhaps the best of the lot.
DF Oscar Mingueza, 6 — Mr. Versatile. Delivered at right-back with Sergi Roberto and Sergino Dest injured.
DF Ronald Araujo, 7 — It’s hasn’t been long since he played at this level with the B team so he was accustomed to the field conditions. Another commanding performance in the middle of the back four. Won the first penalty.
DF Clement Lenglet, 6 — Captain for the night, he won the second penalty but was beaten for pace a couple of times in defence.
DF Junior Firpo, 6 — Joined the attack whenever he could without really having a massive input in the final third.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 — Missed a penalty and had a late shot tipped over by Ramon. Did OK but seems unlikely to replace Busquets or De Jong in Koeman’s first-choice XI any time soon.
MF Ilaix Moriba, 6 — If he was nervous, it didn’t show on his senior debut. Had a chance deflected over in the first half and looked at home alongside plenty of bigger names.
MF Riqui Puig, 6 — Surprisingly sacrificed at half-time to aid a formation change. Prior to that had been one of the few Barca players taking responsibility and asking for the ball, although he sent a few passes astray.
FW Francisco Trincao, 5 — The Portuguese forward is still young and needs time to adapt but he’s not yet taking advantage of his admittedly few chances.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 — Tried to get Barca ticking but struggled on the small pitch. Missed the best chance that came his way, volleying a clever Pjanic free kick off target.
FW Martin Braithwaite, 5 — The Danish striker scored a late tap-in to end a six-game wait for a goal after missing a good chance in the final straight of normal time at the far post.
FW Ousmane Dembele, 8 — Missed from the spot after coming on at half-time but was a non-stop threat down the right and one of the few Barca players who looked too good for the opposition with his trickery and change of speed. Also happened to score the game’s only goal with a long-distance blast.
MF Pedri, 7 — Showed plenty of class to help get Barca organised after coming on in the second half. Braithwaite scored the second goal but it was all about Pedri.
MF Sergio Busquets, 6 — Came on in the second half to help Barca over the line.
FW Konrad de la Fuente, N/R — Only introduced for the final 20 minutes of extra-time and almost scored within 30 seconds, his shot tipped behind for a corner. Did well.