El Clàsico in Copa del Rey
The much anticipated first leg of the Copa del Rey Semi-Finals (El Clàsico) took place at the Camp Nou, Barcelona on Wednesday, and it was boring to say the least, at least for Barça fans.
Barça started poorly, unable to win and keep the ball, lost it constantly to Real Madrid. This got worse when in the 6th minute, Lucas Vàzquez put in a ball brought down for him by Karim Benzema crossed by Vinius Junior. The first 30 minutes were pretty much the same, with Barça chasing the ball and Madrid creating chances but unable to provide clinical finish. Barça, however also created chances, but didn’t finish them either, with Malcom failing to finish a 1 versus 1 with the keeper, Keylor Navas. The closest Barça came was when Ivan Rakitiç’s header smacked the crossbar via a Malcom free-kick. HT : Barça 0-1 Real Madrid
The second half saw a complete change in the complexion of the game, with Barça keeping the ball a whole lot better and starving Madrid of possession. Barça found the leveller when in the 57th minute, Jordi Alba was played by a brillinat through ball. The full back was taken out by the keeper before Luis Suarez curled in a shot in the empty goal only to see it cleared off the line by Sergio Ramos but the clearance only fell to Malcom who pounced on the loose ball and smacked home the equalizer. The second half continued with Barça dominance . Lionel Messi came in at the 63rd minute to replace Coutinho. Messi totally changed the game. Barça were much more relaxed now and more comfortable on the ball. More chances fell Barça’s way but not finished. The match ended 1-1.FT : Barça 1-1 Real Madrid
The second leg takes place in Santiago Bernabeu on 27th February, 9 pm local time, 8pm GMT.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic (Vidal), Busquets, Arthur; Malcom (Aleñá), Suárez, Coutinho (Messi)
Goal: Malcom (57’)
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Llorente (Casemiro), Kroos; Vázquez (Asensio), Benzema, Vinicius (Bale)
Goal: Vázquez (6’)
** Parentheses denote substituted players