Morbo Minute Bonus–Pep’s Cup Runneth Over

While putting together a post for this year’s Copa del Rey, it occurred to me that Barcelona has had a phenomenal record in this competition since Pep took over. But that was just intuition, so I decided to actually look it up.

In his first year, they progressed through the tournament, never dominating until the final. I remember the semi against Mallorca when Pinto made a great penalty save to ensure progress to the final, which was a masterpiece as FCB won the treble.

Record: seven wins and two draws.

The following year, a surprising home loss to Sevilla in the round of 16 could not be completely overturned. FCB lost at the Nou Camp 2-1 and could only win 1-0 at the Sanchez Pizjuan despite battering the hosts.

Record: three wins and one loss.

Last year saw the Big Two set out to meet each other in the final as Mourinho raised the profile of the competition. The Blaugrana’s toughest test until the final was the Round of 16 tie against Athletic Bilbao. After a scoreless draw in Barcelona, a grueling 1-1 draw at San Mames was enough to progress. After that it was clear sailing, only losing to Real Betis after a 5-0 win had securing their spot in the next round. As for the final, FCB played well but were denied in extra time by a headed goal from CR7, preventing another treble.

Record: five wins, two draws, two losses.

So in three years, Pep’s record is 15 W 4 D 3 L. Not too shabby. This year they will have tough road to the final. They face Osasuna in the round of 16, which should be straightforward but next up is Real Madrid. Don’t fancy their chances. Should they make it through that tie, chances are Valencia would be up next for them. Los Che have given them everything in the last two seasons, and I imagine it would be an classic confrontation. The final could see a rematch of three years ago against Bilbao or a Barcelona Derby against Espanyol. Los Leones would be the much tougher test but FCB will have to get there first.

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