Wednesday night, Barcelona fell to the sword of eternal rivals Real Madrid, in a fiery encounter. The Catalans lost 4-0 (4-1 agg.) and are out of the Spanish cup competition.
The fourth clash between eternal rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid took place Wednesday night in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
The Catalans had a 1-0 advantage, courtesy of a late goal by summer signing Franck Kessié, bringing the home crowd to ecstasy. Barcelona looked in control for large portions of that game, and coming off the back of a commanding win against 20th-placed Elche in LaLiga, the Catalans looked poised to continue where they left off.
The second leg was the return fixture for Barca, and took place at the newly renamed Spotify Camp Nou.
Raphinha had missed the Catalans’ game against Elche due to an accumulation of yellow cards, but was back in contention for the Copa encounter. Xavi gave him the nod and even fielded the Brazilian from the off, and the forward continued his tenacious performances in Wednesday night’s showdown.
Barcelona’s starting lineup was as follows: ter Stegen; Ronald Araujo, Jules Koundé, Marcos Alonso, Alejandro Balde; Franck Kessié, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto; Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Gavi.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, decided to field David Alaba from the get-go. The Austrian has had injury woes recently, but was declared fit, and Carlo Ancelotti decided he was fit to start.
Real Madrid’s starting lineup was as follows: Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militão, David Alaba, Eduardo Camavinga; Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Vinícius Jr.
Barcelona started off the game in control. Merely three minutes into the game, Gavi put in a cross that was seemingly blocked by David Alaba with his hand, as he was going in for a slide tackle. The Blaugranas appealed for a penalty, but were overturned by the officials.
The game went on, and the home side remained in control for large portions of the game, creating multiple chances, but failing to put it in the back of the net.
Edging closer to half-time, Barcelona were on the break, Lewandowski saw his shot blocked. Gavi attempted a cross in, but saw it ultimately cleared by Federico Valverde.
The Uruguayan found Rodrygo who drove it forward to Vinícius Jr. The youngster combined with Karim Benzema, and the Frenchman found the Brazilian again through a cut-back. Vini took the shot, and Jules Koundé tried to block it on the line. Ultimately it trickled in past ter Stegen, and Vinícius had the opener in the bag, as Real Madrid went into half-time with the lead.
From the start of the second half, it seemed as though the teams had swapped roles: Real Madrid were in control right from the off, and Barcelona seemed more cautious, and their passes less accurate. Benzema went on to score a hat-trick, as Barcelona’s midfield looked increasingly disorganized, and the defense suffered multiple lapses in concentration.
The final score read 4-0 in favor of Real Madrid, taking them through to the final, with a 4-1 aggregate score. They will be facing Osasuna, who knocked out Athletic Club on penalties the night prior, in the Copa del Rey final.