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Barcelona - Real Madrid (1-3)
Copa del Rey, 26 February 2013
Stadium : Nou Camp
Attendance : 95.002

Barcelona FC were forcefully ejected from the Copa del Rey at their home at the Nou Camp stadium by an organised Real Madrid side.

Barca has been eliminated in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey against Real Madrid. Despite the good previous result at the Bernabeu stadium (1-1), Real Madrid, strengthened by an early penalty, were cautious at the back and lethal in attack. Using their sharpest tools (counterattacks and set pieces), Real Madrid moved forward with three goals that decided the result in the second half.

Despite the final result, Barca started with a hungry passion, backed by a stadium full of bluered shirts. After 1 minute they sent a warning shot with Messi’s right foot lined up great work from Peter. This attack was safely pushed away by a solid Madrid defence. The main weapon of counter-attack worked for the whites in the 13th minute. It ended with a penalty scored by Cristiano Ronaldo which didn't go down well with the Barca home crowd.

Despite the setback, Barca carried on in their recognised way, patient and dominating. The 0-1 scoreline did however weaken their attacking with doubts creeping in on getting back in time for any counter attack. Madrid, however, gained in confidence. They advanced keeping the defensive line. With the Catalans-moved to the right, Real Madrid had Alves and Pedro taking the initiative and attacking with a very direct footballing style.

As the teams settled into the game, so did the tension on the pitch, with more interruptions and cards (yellow cards for Pique and Puyol). A Messi free-kick which sadly grazed the top bar closed the first half. Jordi Alba’s concussion left a team slightly stunned, but fortunately he could carry on playing.

The second half was full of nervous energy, and the stadium’s atmosphere moved up a notch. A choice of Coentrao (min 49) has been answered by Busquets (min 51). Barca’s attack started after Madrid took their second goal. Attacking directly, they were unfortunate as Puyol skated before Di Maria and the clearance of the Argentine Pinto was shot down at the feet of Christian, who put it in the back of the net. A hard blow to the cup dreams of our Barcelona champions. They continued with less conviction before a Madrid team which now included Diego Lopez, who was magical. Soon after, Varane completed the perfect 0-3 with a header off of a corner.

Despite the harshness of the result, the local fans always seemed supportive, with no boo-ing or negative chants. This seemed to be rewarded in the 88th minute - Jordi Alba narrowed the score to 1-3 with a diagonal shot that surpassed Diego Lopez’s. A great way to finish the match, and although disappointing for Barcelona FC, the game was full of great goals, tension, and high drama.

Report added : 04 June 2013
Report by : Geoff Roy
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