Barcelona secured a late 1-0 win over Cultural Leonesa on Wednesday, as they began their defence of the Copa del Rey.
It was a tough night for Ernesto Valverde’s much-changed side, who needed a stoppage-time goal from substitute Clement Lenglet to seal victory.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at the winners and losers from the cup clash.
The centre-back has said he wanted to score his first Barcelona goal against Real Madrid. While he didn’t manage to net in El Clasico, he didn’t have to wait too much longer to get his name on the scoresheet.
Lenglet arrived after an hour for Jorge Cuenca and you would not have expected him to turn out to be the match-winner. However, he made an impact from the bench. One ball through almost set up Dembele, before he struck late to give Barca the advantage in the tie.
Alena will have been disappointed not to have started the game, but he did manage to see plenty of action after Sergi Samper was forced off after only 33 minutes.
Samper’s misfortune allowed Alena the chance to stake his claim, and he may just have caught the eye of Valverde with a bright showing. He was one of Barca’s brighter performers, managed to test Palatsi with a shot and deserves to be given more of a chance.
Valverde handed first-team debuts to defenders Jorge Cuenca, Chumi and Juan Miranda, and the trio all did well and helped Barcelona keep a clean sheet.
It was a really encouraging night for all three players, who will be hoping to start again in the return fixture at the Camp Nou in December.
Rock solid once again for Barcelona but was called into action more than the visitors would have liked. Made a couple of good saves, and you really could not wish for a better back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Sergi Samper’s awful luck with injuries continued once again, as he was forced off with a calf problem on the half-hour mark.
The midfielder was in tears as he came off the pitch, and his frustration is understandable as he faces yet more time on the sidelines.
Denis made his first appearance of the season on Wednesday and was also handed the captain’s armband for the match.
However, he couldn’t bring a performance to match, and it’s unlikely he’ll have done enough to force his way into Valverde’s thinking with this showing.
Malcom finally got the start he’d been waiting for but found it tough going against Cultural Leonesa.
The Brazilian looked pretty rusty, as you may expect, but was guilty of giving the ball away far too much in a disappointing outing.