LaLiga leaders Barcelona struggled to break down Real Sociedad despite having an extra man but did enough to progress.
Barcelona are through to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after a 1-0 win against 10-man Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.
Despite being dominated, the home side could not find a breakthrough in the first half, but took advantage when Brais Mendez was sent off in the 40th minute.
Ousmane Dembele put the Blaugrana ahead early in the second half after Jules Kounde slotted past him and finished powerfully past Alex Remiro.
The battle between the first and third-placed teams in LaLiga was rarely as close as the scoreline suggested until a late intervention from Sociedad saw Xavi’s men march in a bid to add another trophy to their recent Supercopa de Espana success.
Barca started brightly and had the ball in the net in the 11th minute, but Robert Lewandowski’s spot-kick was deflected offside by Frenkie de Jong.
The dangerous Dembele threatened soon after when a determined drive ended with a curling effort just wide of the left-hand post, while Takefusa Kubo hit the crossbar with the visitors’ first attempt just before the half-hour mark.
There were borderline ironic cheers from the home fans before half-time as referee Gil Manzano, who sent off Lewandowski earlier in the season, red-carded La Real’s Mendez when a VAR review showed the midfielder had caught Sergio Busquets on the ankle. his studs.
Dembele opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when he ran onto a pass down the right channel from Kounde before slotting past Remir at his near post.
La Real should have been level on the hour when Alexander Sorloth somehow turned Kuba’s cross over the bar from close range while Gavi hit the woodwork at the other end.
One goal was enough to seal Barca’s progress to the last four, albeit thanks to Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s late saves to keep out Roberto Navarro in a one-on-one and then Jon Ander Olasagasti’s powerful drive.