FC Barcelona and Real Madrid participated in another Copa del Rey encounter today. Both sides played to a scoreless draw in the first half before Cesc put Barça ahead in the 50th minute after being set up from a Messi through ball. However, Madrid snatched the equalizer nine minutes from time when Varane headed in Ozil’s cross. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw with no sending offs. However, will Barça rue those missed chances to increase their and will their lone away goal be enough for the second leg? We’ll find out when the second leg will be played on February 27. Next up for Barça is a difficult away match against Valencia this Sunday.
Jordi Roura was on the Barça bench tonight and his lineup featured his strongest players in every position except one. Pinto was in goal in place of Valdés with a back four consisting of Dani Alves, Piqué, Puyol, and Alba. The midfield consisted of Sergio Busquets, Xavi, and Cesc supporting the front three of Pedro, Messi and Iniesta. Real Madrid had Diego Lopez in goal after his recent transfer from Sevilla.
The game started off with Pique getting booked in the first minute and Pinto stopping the ensuing Ronaldo free kick. The first half was an exciting one with both sides had their share of scoring chances but neither side could score. Fortunately, Barça got the opener five minutes into the second half when Messi intercepted Callejon’s poor clearance and his first touch set up Cesc inside the box who blasted the ball past Diego Lopez. This was Cesc’s second goal in this cup competition and 9th in all competitions.
Cesc was denied a chance at grabbing a second but Madrid young defender Varane produced a magnificent challenge to deny him. Barça’s ended up regretting the squandering of their scoring chances in the second half when Varane scored the equalizer nine minutes from time. Ozil swing in a dangerous cross into the Barça box and Varane headed a powerful shot on goal that Pinto could not stop. Barça had one final scoring opportunity near the end but Diego Lopez stopped Jordi Alba’s effort on goal.
The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw with no sending offs. However, will Barça rue those missed chances to increase their and will their lone away goal be enough for the second leg? We’ll find out when the second leg will be played on February 27. Next up for Barça is a difficult away match against Valencia this Sunday.
Match Info (From Sport):
Real Madrid: Diego López; Essien, Varane, Carvalho, Arbeloa; Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Callejón (Modric, min. 58), Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo & Benzema (Higuaín, min. 63).
FC Barcelona: Pinto; Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Alba; Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Cesc (Thiago, min. 85); Pedro (Alexis, min. 76), Messi & Iniesta.
Goals: 0-1, Cesc (min. 50); 1-1, Varane (min. 81).
Referee: Clos Gómez
Bookings: Carvalho, Callejón & Alonso; Piqué, Alves & Puyol.