Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona (agg: 1-4): Luis Suarez brace and Raphael Varane own goal seals place in Copa del Rey final for Ernesto Valverde’s side
- Copa del Rey semi-final went to second leg tied at 1-1 after both sides could not be separated in Barcelona
- The early team news was that former Tottenham winger Gareth Bale would be on the bench for Real Madrid
- The first half was largely a non-event with both sides largely not committing numbers forward
- Barcelona’s breakthrough came six minutes into the second half with Luis Suarez getting the goal
- Barcelona’s place in the Copa del Rey final looked certain when Raphael Varane scored an own goal
- They sealed their place in the final with 17 minutes remaining when Suarez scored from the penalty spot
Luis Suarez destroyed Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu to put his team in the Copa del Rey final and leave their great rival’s domestic season once again in tatters.
They may have held the Champions League for 1000 days but there have been few home comforts over recent years. They will be watching this season’s cup final on television and if Barcelona beat them again on Saturday they will be 12 points behind them in the league.
Suarez did the damage. His nickname at the club is Gordo – ‘fat’. It’s an affectionate reference to his stocky build. Whenever is touch is off the critics suggest he should lose a few pounds.
Luis Suarez embraces Ousmane Dembele after the Uruguayan striker scored Barcelona’s third from the penalty spot
It was the goal that sealed Barcelona’s passage to the final of the Copa del Rey final and dumped Real Madrid out
Suarez kept his cool from 12 yards, choosing to chip the ball into the net with Keylor Navas helpless and rooted to the ground
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Reguilon; Kroos, Casemiro (Valverde 75), Modric; Lucas Vasquez (Bale 68), Benzema, Vinicius Junior (Asensio 81)
Subs not used: Nacho, Marcelo, Ceballos, Courtois
Booked: Lucas, Casemiro
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto; Busquets (Arthur 86), Rakitic; Messi, Suarez (Vidal 79), Dembele (Coutinho 75)
Subs not used: Cillessen, Malcom, Alena, Umtiti
Goals: Suarez 50, 73, Varane OG 69
Booked: Busquets, Semedo
He looked cumbersome here for 45 minutes, Was he injured? Was he exhausted? Or was he just saving himself for the second half demolition job?
His finish for the first goal was exceptional and his cool chip from the penalty spot rubbed Real’s face into the ruins of another miserable night against Barcelona. Lionel Messi still hasn’t scored against them in the Cup but he didn’t need to. In between his two goals Suarez it was who was breathing down Raphael Varane’s neck as he put the ball past his own keeper.
He may not always look like the streamline supermodel but he’s a finisher and it’s what Real Madrid so desperately miss with Cristiano Ronaldo sold, Gareth Bale on the bench and Vinicius still raw in front of goal.
The first half had been the story of the 18-year-old’s wastefulness. He has it all except composure in the penalty area. The winger missed a hat-full of chances the worse of which came when Casemiro sent him through the middle with a perfectly weighted pass.
His first touch was poor, his second touch even worse sending him wide and when his shot was blocked by Clement Lenglet, Karim Benzema couldn’t get enough power in the shot to beat Marc Andre ter Stegen.
There was also a penalty shout when he went down after a challenge from Nelson Semedo. Contact was minimal and replays appeared to show him going down easily.
The Brazilian’s next chance came from Sergio Reguilon’s cross. The ball was slightly behind him and when he readjusted the opportunity was gone.
Reguilon was exceptional in the first half making key interceptions and intelligent forays into Barcelona’s half. He also made one powerful run from deep in his own half that Nelson Semedo brought to an end by flattening the 22-year-old. There is a reason why Marcelo was watching the game – while occasionally twirling the ball on his index finger – on the bench.
The evening became embarrassing for Real Madrid when central defender Raphael Varane scored an own goal
Varane attempted to win the ball ahead of Suarez but instead turned the ball past his own goalkeeper Keylor Navas
Suarez was more than happy to rub the salt in as Barcelona edged further away from Real Madrid on their own turf
Suarez’s penalty in the 73rd minute silenced the home supporters and gave Barcelona a clear passage to the final
Suarez riled the fans in the home end by sliding in front of them after scoring to heap more misery on their rival hosts
Barcelona were struggling to threaten. Ousmane Dembele flashed one ball across the face of the six-yard box but too often he and Jordi Alba were on different wavelengths and Suarez seemed to be struggling. Appearences can be deceptive.
On 50 minutes the first goal came. Jordi Alba got down the left and Suarez lurked between Sergio Ramos, who wasn’t tight enough, and Toni Kroos, who wasn’t running back with enough conviction.
When the ball was played to the Uruguayan he fizzed a first time shot past Keylor Navas before Ramos and Kroos could realize just how code-red the danger was. Barcelona had their goal. Now Real Madrid needed to score twice.
Again a chance was made and not taken. Reguilon pushed the ball one side of Semedo and ran the other before crossing to Lucas Vazquez who couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
Tired of making opportunities that were then squandered Reguilon angled one of his runs into the area. Vinicius picked him out but from the full-back’s header Ter Stegen saved at full-stretch.
With no sign of the goal coming Bale came on for Lucas Vazquez. But before he could touch the ball Barcelona scored twice.
Real Madrid go close through striker Karim Benzema as Barcelona’s players scramble to get back and defend their goal
Lucas Vasquez brings his hands to his face after watching Real Madrid miss yet another opportunity to take the lead
Vinicius Junior was another Real Madrid player to miss his chance at goal during a frustrating first half in the Spanish capital
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi manages to find space to run into as Real Madrid’s Casemiro tries to keep up with the Argentine
First Dembele went down the right and crossed. Suarez would have bundled the ball in but Raphael Varane got there first to poke it past Navas.
Suarez still looked to be running with stones in his boots at times but he got away from Real Madrid again moments later and when Casemiro stood on his foot the penalty was given.
To cap a great night for him he sent it ‘Panenka-style’ over the dive of Navas. Ramos grimaced and the score read 3-0.
Bale finally started getting some touches on the ball but when he sent his first chance well wide there were whistles from the home supporters.
Things are tough for him right now and if Barcelona beat Real Madrid again on Saturday they will start getting a lot tougher for coach Solari.
Casemiro catches up with Messi before sliding in and winning the ball at the same time as bringing down the 31-year-old
Real Madrid head coach Santiago Solari watches on in the hope of leading Real Madrid to the final of the Copa del Rey
Real Madrid’s Lucas Vasquez does well to use his pace and burst past Ousmane Dembele as the winger struggles to keep up
Barcelona’s Jordi Alba goes to ground in the early stages of the second leg after being shoved by Lucas Vasquez
Both sides line up for the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final inside a packed Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid
Real Madrid supporters welcome the official team bus as it arrives at the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg on Wednesday
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