Barcelona take slender lead into semi-final second leg after battling El Clasico victory

Barcelona will take a narrow lead into the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Madrid after a spirited defensive performance ensured a 1-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side dominated the early stages, and put Barcelona under pressure at every available opportunity. Karim Benzema had the ball in the net early on for the hosts, but he was ruled offside by the officials.

Xavi Hernandez was visibly furious on the touchline with his side’s start, but he would have been delighted after 26 minutes when they took a shock lead.

A mistake from Eduardo Camavinga allowed Barcelona to break, and despite Franck Kessie’s initial shot being saved by Thibaut Courtois, the ball ricocheted off Eder Militao and into the net. The goal was originally called offside, but VAR allowed it after replayed showed that Kessie was onside in the build-up.

The second half was much like the first, with Real Madrid dominating the play. However, Barcelona’s excellent resolve limited them to very little chances, with a long range strike from Rodrygo arguably being their best chance.

Barcelona extend their unbeaten in Copa del Rey matches at the Bernabeu to six matches, but more importantly, they have the advantage over Real Madrid going into the second leg at the Camp Nou in April.

Tags Barcelona Copa del Rey Eder Militao El Clasico Real Madrid
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