Defending Luis Suarez in space is the type of thing that defenders have nightmares about. And Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semifinal between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona gave a textbook case as to why.
Just six minutes into the contest, an Atletico Madrid attack was broken up by Javier Mascherano. The ball came to Suarez at the midfield line, and the striker turned into a one-man counterattacking force.
The Uruguayan ran by his countryman Diego Godin, then knocked the ball past Stefan Savic and into space. To Godin’s credit, he hustled back and nearly caught Suarez, but was a step too late as Suarez slid the shot past keeper Miguel Moya for the 1-0 Barcelona lead.
The good news is that while it’s never good to go down early, Atletico Madrid is still at home and this match is only the first leg of the semifinal clash.
The bad news for Atletico is that Lionel Messi would later tack on another goal in the first half to double Barcelona’s advantage.