On 12 December Barcelona will return to Córdoba for the first time in 40 years and it's highly likely the Andalusian club's fans will be celebrating Barça's passage to the next round than the 58,000 fans that were driven into boredom in the Camp Nou on Wednesday watching a sluggish Barcelona without star players Iniesta, Xavi and Messi.
They were only satisfied when David Villa fired in a superb free-kick to score the 300th goal of his career and remind the world of the special player he still is.
Barcelona's starting 11 was not experimental, but calculated, with game time for the forgotten players, like Jonathan dos Santos, the youngsters like Sergi Roberto and Cristiano Tello and players returning from injury, such as Adriano and Thiago, the latter playing in the false nine role with David Villa out on the left.
Alavés gave a good account of themselves and should have had a penalty in the fourth minute when Alex Song handled the ball when he slipped over in the area. They eventually took the lead after a quarter of an hour, through a fine headed goal by Borja Viguera.
Barça took their time to react, but Adriano equalised with ten minutes before the break to ease tensions in the Camp Nou. The second half would have been as poor as the first from Barça's point of view were it not for Villa, who was on a one-man mission to prove himself. His free-kick put Barça ahead, but Alavés were dealt another slice of bad luck when they had a goal that would have levelled the game wrongly chalked off. Villa was on hand again to score his second goal in three minutes to end Alavés's dreams.
Now Córdoba wait their turn to start dreaming.