How Barcelona Ensured That They Would Be Closing In On Yet Another Title?

Luis Enrique’s Barcelona were held to an unconvincing 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night in the 2nd leg of the semi-final Copa Del Rey clash against rivals Atletico Madrid. The draw was however able to get them through to the final as the aggregate score ended 3-2 in favor of the Catalonians, despite finishing the game with nine men as Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto saw red cards along with Madrid’s Yannick Carrasco.

Diego Simeone’s side had been well on top when they fell behind to Suarez’s simple finish. Carrasco had the first real chance of the game but his fierce shot was saved away by Bacra keeper Cilessen after just five minutes. And the Dutch shot-stopper made two decent saves in succession, as Koke fired from long range before he held Diego Godin’s headed effort from resulting corner.

Atletico looked determined and should have been awarded a penalty after Fernando Torres was pulled down inside the box by Sergi Roberto after controlling the ball on his chest. Koke’s free-kicks were also causing a huge problem for the Barcelona defense.

However, Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 43rd minute for Barcelona, the Uruguay international tapped in from close range against the run of play after Atleti keeper Miguel Angel Moya had only managed to parry Lionel Messi’s shot.

Three minutes into the second half Madrid lost their captain Diego Godin due to a groin injury and was replaced by Lucas Hernandez, and Barcelona lost right-back Sergi Roberto after his studs were raised on Felipe Luis which earned him his second yellow card in the 56th minute.

Two minutes later, Griezmann fired past Cilessen only to be wrongly-flagged offside after Carrasco’s through ball. 10 minutes later, Atletico lost their man advantage as Carrasco was given his marching orders for a tackle on Arda Turan which got him his second yellow card.

Lionel Messi almost secred Barcelona’s final berth with a spectacular free-kick that beat Moya, only to be denied by the under-side of the bar. Kevin Gameiro was brought on by Simeone and in a dramatic final few stages of the game, Pique seemingly brought down the Frenchman in the box and Madrid were awarded a penalty.

Gameiro stepped up to take the spot-kick and blasted the ball onto the post and into the stands. Just four minutes after though, Madrid found themselves within just one goal to push the game into extra time as Gameiro slotted in from Gziezmann’s clever squared cross. The two French forwards combined and the score was 1-1.

Luis Suarez was then shown a red card for apparently elbowing Koke in the 89th minute. But a nervy Barcelona managed to hold on with nine men to book their place in the final. They will now face either Celta Vigo or Alaves, however they will be without Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto.

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