Griezmann the party pooper in Ibiza as late double spares Barcelona blushes

Antoine Griezmann struck two late goals as Barcelona came from behind to beat third-tier UD Ibiza 2-1 and avoid an embarrassing Copa del Rey last-32 exit.

Javi Pérez put Ibiza ahead at the Can Misses municipal stadium after nine minutes and the hosts had a second goal disallowed before Raí Nascimento hit the post with Barcelona floundering.

Quique Setién’s side dominated the ball, as they did on the coach’s debut against Granada last weekend, but failed to create chances until Griezmann fired home in the 72nd minute. The French forward drilled in the second goal well into injury time to prevent extra time and send last year’s runners-up into the last 16.

This is the first edition of the competition since it switched to a single-match format so Barcelona had no return at the Camp Nou to fall back on, although they did not play as if that were the case. Setién left Lionel Messi at home and played youth talents Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati along with some first-team regulars, hoping that blend would be enough to take the champions through.

Operating in a new 3-4-3 system, however, Barcelona did not get going and the hosts took full advantage, leading for over an hour.

“We didn’t have a single shot in the first half, it was a new system and we had to get used to it,” Griezmann told DAZN. “We have to build confidence with the ball, move more in attack, understand the coach’s tactics.

“We did a good job, especially in the second half, and I have to thank my teammates for the passes that let me score. I had two chances and they went in.”

Elsewhere in the Copa del Rey, Gareth Bale struck on his return from injury as Real Madrid eased past Unionistas de Salamanca 3-1.

The 30-year-old had not played since 4 January but was included by Zinedine Zidane in the starting line-up to face third-tier opposition, and the manager was rewarded when the Welshman scored his third goal of the season for Real after less than 20 minutes.

Real did not impose themselves fully on the game, and the home side took advantage as substitute Alvaro Romero levelled the tie at the start of the second half. However, Real’s quality was too much for Unionistas in the end, with Juan Gongora scoring an own-goal for Real to retake the lead. Brahim Diaz then secured victory for the visitors with his injury-time strike.

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