Cornella vs Barcelona Cornella keeper was immense
Ramon Juan after saving the first of two penalties
Barcelona emerged victorious, but Cornella made them sweat and no one more so than keeper Ramon Juan who saved not one but two penalties.
Ronald Koeman’s side had to go to extra time for the third match in a row and the Dutchman had to throw on regulars Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Busquets and Pedri as he sought a winner.
Ramon Juan played a big role in keeping the visitors at bay, not just keeping out penalties by Miralem Pjanic and Dembele but making numerous other important saves.
Wearing a helmet that brings Petr Cech to mind, having suffered a cranial fracture two weeks ago, the 21-year-old put on a display the Czech legend would be proud of.
A graduate of Cornella’s own academy, Ramon Juan had a performance that will go down in history, keeping out multi-million euro players like Griezmann, Trincao, Braithwaite and Pjanic.
Ilaix Moriba, who turned 18 just a couple of days ago, impressed in midfield on his first-team debut.
The La Masia graduate played with character, prepared to make tackles, show for the ball and even try his luck from range. A solid first step for a future first team player.
Barcelona’s penalty-taking this season deserves a case study to come up with a solution, having now missed five of 12 attempts.
Miralem Pjanic isn’t having his best season and won’t have done himself many favours tonight, despite lasting the 120 minutes.
The Bosnian missed the first penalty and perhaps also a big opportunity to try to claw his way back into Koeman’s plans.
Another who may have squandered a chance to impress the head coach is Riqui Puig, who was hooked at half time of his first start of the season.
The young midfielder remains steadfast in his desire to stay at Barcelona, but unless his substitution was for physical reasons, it doesn’t bode well for his future under Koeman.