Copa del Rey Draw: FCB-Osasuna

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.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. blitzen
    December 23, 2011

    We won’t have Messi or Iniesta for this game, most likely. Messi doesn’t get back to Barcelona until January 3rd, so I can’t imagine Pep would call him for a game on the 4th. And Iniesta will still be recuperating from his injury last night.

    We may have beaten Osasuna 8-0 before, but I don’t expect this game to be a walkover.

  2. barca96
    December 23, 2011

    Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain (24) considers an exit and prefers to join Barcelona. Madrid vetoes Barcelona. Barcelona not interested. [md]

    What a great signing it would’ve been.
    Actually when he first joined Madrid, he wasn’t a regular yet and I somehow wished that we would’ve signed him then cause I always saw something in him. I always took note of him while watching Madrid.

    But it is impossible to get him now. I think it would;ve been possible in his 1st or 2nd year as he was still a bench warmer. Now he’s already in his 5th year I think and the fans love him.

    I don’t think it’s true though that he wants to join Barca.

    • barca96
      December 23, 2011

      From the greaet Barcastuff btw.

      • Gogah
        December 23, 2011

        Which is what i was wondering. who is barcastuff?
        i’ve only just joined twitter.
        it seemed like it was a sort of an official barcelona/pep’s account, but it tweets anything and everything?

        • The__K__Man
          December 23, 2011

          No, he’s in now way affiliated with FC Barcelona. He’s just a fan who does his best to tweet Barça news, quotes, stats and pretty much everything related to the club. He has no insider sources whatsoever.

    • Chiu
      December 23, 2011

      I frankly like the idea of Higuaian play for us. I see him as a team player and great poacher in the box. Not so great technically, but pretty skillfull for typical target man. Look like his attitude would fit with our dressing room as well. But have no idea how Pep could utilize him tactically with Messi and Cesc as false 9/10 as I doubt his capability in winger position.

      • December 23, 2011

        Higuain, who I like, would never work at Barca. Why? He’s not a midfielder! 🙂

        Yes he’s not the most technically gifted but with all the chances we would set him up with, he would have a field day scoring.

        I think it would help the Albiceleste if he did come.

        Imagine fat Ronaldo (1996) leading our line. Mmmmmmhhmm.

    • December 23, 2011

      Easily my favorite Madrid player. And a fantastic finisher, unlike his reputation would have you- I think he averages around 30% goals out of shots on goal, which is below Messi but up there with the most clinical in the game.

      I think the story is BS, though. EMD bleh.

      • December 23, 2011

        Wrong reputation had because of some high-profile misses in the Lyon CL round and Clasico under Pellegrini, and a handful of games was always a stupid sample size to judge. The proper Madridista friends also consider him to be a very good finisher.

      • December 23, 2011

        Actually, last i checked, he was at 48%, which is the top in Europe. My favorite player

  3. Chiu
    December 23, 2011

    Prospect of playing EE in January could be a blessing for us. We habitually a bit unstable after Xmas break and Hlebuary. But the high possibility of classico would make our team remain cautious right after the holiday. No better motivation to start the 2nd half of the season than spirit of looming classico. And if we successfully eliminate EE from CDR, that will be double massive blow for them in 1 month span, mentally. * no disrespecting Osasuna and Malaga*

  4. G6O
    December 23, 2011

    Meeting them now is much better than having to play them in the CdR final. They can snatch a win in a single game but I don’t think they can beat us over two games. Even better, the first game is at the Bernabeu

  5. blitzen
    December 23, 2011

    Having watched Cuenca falling down multiple times now, I’m not certain that was a deliberate dive at all. He may have simply fallen over his own feet. I’m basing that mostly on his reaction and that of the other players. He jumped straight up again, didn’t stick up his hand or gesture to the ref, or do anything at all except wait for the game to restart. None of the other Barça players reacted either, no charging the ref or anything like that. I could just be making excuses for a player I like, but it didn’t really look like gamesmanship to me, just an opportune fall and a very bad call by the ref.
    If he didn’t have a clear view his linesman should have. I suppose it is too much to expect a team to deliberately scuff a penalty they know they didn’t deserve, but it would have erased the bad taste in my mouth.

    • blitzen
      December 23, 2011

      And contrasting that to his reaction the second time he went down, which was a penalty, and where he did raise his hand and gesture to the ref, makes me think so even more.

    • Calvin
      December 23, 2011

      I’m sticking with my original stance on this one: it was an appalling call by the ref.

      I agree it’s sort of hard to tell whether Cuence intended to flop or not. It doesn’t look to me like awarding a freekick for simulation would have been a good call either.

      Ref really needed to just read it as incidental contact in the box and let play continue. He was positioned well, he just blew it.

    • jordi™
      December 23, 2011

      Well from what I saw it looked to me like he deliberately handled the ball after falling over, you generally only do that if you think play is dead, i.e. he thought it was a penalty. He got back up just in case it wasn’t so the opposing player wouldn’t get the ball.

    • Jnice
      December 23, 2011

      Clear dive for me. Your body doesn’t naturally jerk in the air like that. The reason he got up right away is because he knew that he dove, but it was too late to do anything about it.

      • Jim
        December 23, 2011

        Just seen it for the first time. Not impressed by Cuenca.

    • nzm
      December 23, 2011

      Blitzen – I believe this too.

      Earlier today, I wrote this comment on the LiveBlog thread:

      I don’t believe that it was a dive because he got up really quickly and seemed to be surprised that the ref awarded a penalty. There were certainly no claims for a penalty from him.

      You can see in this video how his left foot clipped his right calf and he went over.

      What it doesn’t show is how, once he got up, he shrugged and half threw his hands up, as if he couldn’t believe what was happening.

      I know that it would have been sporting of him to have protested to the ref about it, but the ref’s decision had been made, and they don’t often revoke their own decisions.

  6. mom4
    December 23, 2011

    Sooooooo, it is possible that we could play EE 8 TIMES in one season?

    I don’t think my doctor will understand if I request valium.

    OT @ nzm- you have mail if I got your address correctly

    • nzm
      December 23, 2011

      Got it, mom4!

      Will respond in kind, but it all sounds good!

  7. MiZa
    December 23, 2011

    I’d love to see Cuenca against EE, but honestly, with his build, I’m afraid Marcelo is going to snap his legs like a twig.

    On purpose.

    Sad to say, but he we’ve seen him at his worst trying to hurt people.

  8. mega_tajh
    December 23, 2011

    So we gotta beat Osasuna to theoretically face Madrid then beat them to face Valencia/Sevilla just to get to the final, where we may eventually met a strong Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic B. Tough CUP competition.

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