Even though there hasn’t been a BFB article on the matter, you know by now that Barça beat L’Hospitalet 9-0 in the Copa del Rey round of 32 in order to move on in the competition by the skin of their teeth. The rest of the competition was set up by a draw this morning in Spain.
Barça face Osasuna at the Camp Nou on January 4 and then visit the Reyno de Navarro on January 11. The 8-0 smashing they received last time they traveled to the Camp will not have been forgotten, but they won’t be the easiest of tasks as the matches bookend a crosstown trip to Espanyol (who themselves play Segunda side Córdoba). Osasuna also sit 5th in the league (when did that happen?).
Thing is, everyone is already looking ahead to the quarterfinals thanks to a possible matchup with Real Madrid on January 18 and 25. The merengues have to get through Malaga first, but all of their fans are no doubt considering it a formality before facing the blaugrana again. They have a month to repair their broken spirits and figure out a way to stop the Barça juggernaut.
But the CDR made a terrible mistake. No one cares about the top half of the draw simply because the bottom half has the top 7 teams in La Liga. No doubt Alcorcon is pleased with their route to the trophy as they make up the 8th and final team in the half. Valencia plays Sevilla, which is just crazy this early in the competition, no matter how exciting the matches turn out to be. A wonderful and powerful example of poor planning: seeding would have been the way to go to ensure a fairer level of competition. The top 4 teams in La Liga get the top 4 spots, meaning that whoever is the top team gets the #1 seed and put on the opposite side of the draw from the #2 seed. If the second-placed team has blown it and is no longer in the competition, then the #2 seed goes to the third placed team. And so on until the top 4 teams are figured out. Then you just do a random drawing for the rest if you’re really into random drawings.
Then you cut out the two legged thing, which reduces the likelihood of an upset and go with a straight up knockout competition. Voila! A much better tournament. But, of course, less money from TV, right? Not gonna happen. But it’d still be totally awesome.
The next match for Barça is Osasuna on Jan 4. Get ready, folks, it’s almost here.