Barca through in bizarre epic

Barcelona progressed to the Copa del Rey last four on Wednesday after an action-packed 3-2 victory over Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their quarter-final.

In a match full of thrills and spills, from early goals and poor refereeing to half-time red cards and the flinging of boots, the Catalans emerged victorious in what will be remembered as the battle of Vicente Calderon.

Torres was dropped to the subsitutes' bench for visit of Rayo Vallecano at the weekend, but he returned in place of Mario Mandzukic. Also incoming were Jan Oblak and Raul Garcia, both of whom replaced Miguel Angel Moya and Tiago Mendes.

Meanwhile for Barca, they made six changes from the side which demolished Elche 6-0, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez introduced, the latter particularly keen to make his mark.

Inside just one minute, the striker was at it again after just 37 seconds, capitalising on Javier Mascherano's mistake, skipping past the Argentine and sending a low strike on the half-volley past Ter Stegen, kissing the post on its way in.

However, Barca quickly equalised through Neymar, who was expertly played in by Messi and fired an angled drive into the bottom-left corner of Oblak's net.

The Catalans looked as if they had just got themselves going until Mascherano was the guilty party once more, controversially obstructing Juanfran in the area, leaving Garcia with the task of sweeping home the penalty.

Yet Atleti were to end the half shellshocked when La Blaugrana found a second equaliser of the evening, albeit with a hint of luck as Miranda volleyed Ivan Rakitic's corner into his own net via his shin.

That was followed up with a magnificent counterattack, which started all the way from the visitors' box. Messi's mazy dribble down the right allowed him to pick out Alba down the left, who in turn fed the ball for Neymar.

No more goalmouth action was to be witnessed in the Spanish capital as off-the-ball drama took centre stage, beginning with Gabi's red card for an apparent incident during the break.

If that wasn't acrimonious enough, Arda Turan was incredibly fortunate to stay on the pitch after he aimed a boot at the linesman in anger. It didn't miss the official by much.

The Catalans proceeded to dominate the remainder of the encounter, with Atleti's lack of ambition shown in their subs and rapid descendency into chaos, as seen by their continuous accumulation of bookings.

Unsurprisingly, the hosts ended the match with another dismissal, Mario Suarez's petulant kick into Messi's Achilles resulting in a second yellow and subsequent red.

Atletico Madrid 2-3 Barcelona (Half-Time, 2-4 agg.)

Torres 1, Garcia 30 (A) Neymar 9, 41, Miranda og 38 (B)

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran (Gamez 58), Miranda, Gimenez, Siqueira; Mario, Gabi, Arda (Cani 63), Garcia; Griezmann (Saul 46), Torres

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano (Mathieu 62), Alba; Busquets, Rakitic (Rafinha 70), Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar (Pedro 77)

Ref: Gil Manzano