Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (3-1 agg.): Catalans Through To Champions League Final After Controversial Camp Nou Draw
Guardiola's side return to the final of the Champions League after his side secure a 3-1 aggregate win earning their place on the Wembley turf.
By Daniel Quinton-Navarro
Barcelona overcame Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate to become the first team to secure their place in the Champions League final at Wembley.
The Catalan side took the lead in the 54th minute through Pedro’s strike, largely thanks to Andreas Iniesta's glorious through ball, only for Marcelo to equalise ten minutes later.
Los Blancos were unable to complete the task billed as “mission impossible” as Barcelona completed their journey to yet another Champions League final.
Real Madrid started brightest in the opening exchanges as they searched for an early goal, Cristiano Ronaldo in particular, began well as he looked to emulate one Lionel Messi.
As the game grew in stature Barcelona began to find their customary rhythm, and when Angel di Maria was caught in possession near his own penalty area Andrea Iniesta found room to shoot but the Spanish international dragged his effort wide.
Messi then found the ball at his feet with space around him for the first time and proceeded to surge forward only for Ricardo Carvalho to commit a professional foul earning the Portuguese man the night’s first caution.
Both Lassana Diarra and Gerard Pique earned defensive admiration when they put in vital challenges to halt the progress of Messi and di Maria respectively as the game began to become more open.
The Blaugrana were exerting their supremacy on the tie as the Madrid players began to chase shadows and should have taken the lead when Sergio Busquets evaded his marker only to direct his header from six yards straight at a grateful Iker Casillas.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s promising start had quickly cascaded but when he peeled away from Dani Alves in the box the Portugal international had a chance to bring the ball down. Instead, though, he tried to lay it off first time with his shoulder to no avail.
Barca resumed their dominance and in a frantic ten minute period Real Madrid were left questioning how they were not behind.
Lionel Messi came inside and looked to bend an effort out of Casillas’ reach but the Spanish No. 1 was equal to it, and despite an initial fumble he held on to it on the second attempt.
The Argentine then brought down Dani Alves’ cross with class oozing from his every touch, the second took it beyond Xabi Alonso and Raul Albiol but his third saw him uncharacteristically drag his effort wide of the far post.
Casillas was forced into another fine save moments later when the irresistible Messi played in David Villa who shaped to curl it in the far post only for the Spanish stopper to throw a left hand to keep Real Madrid in the tie.
Barcelona showed their prowess with smart passing inside Real Madrid’s penalty area and was only brought to an end when Messi’s shot was palmed away by a sprawling Casillas.
The second-half saw los Blancos look to break the deadlock and they thought they had when the ball fell to Gonzalo Higuain who made no mistake in steering the ball beyond an onrushing Victor Valdes only for the celebrations to be cut short because of the whistle.
Javier Mascherano had gone to ground clutching his ankle following a touch from Ronaldo which proved enough to earn an important free-kick for his side.
And soon after los Blancos found themselves a goal down, and seemingly out of the competition. Andreas Iniesta took a moment to compose himself before threading a sublime pass through to Pedro who finished with aplomb to give Barcelona the lead in the 54th minute.
Real Madrid responded by introducing Mesut Ozil and Emmanuel Adebayor to the fray as they went in search of the three goals that they required to keep alive their European dreams.
Los Blancos found themselves level soon after when di Maria took the ball past Mascherano, the No. 22 then crashed an effort against the upright but upon its return to di Maria he played it inside to Marcelo, whose first time finished pulled the Madridistas back into the tie.
Despite the capital’s clubs best efforts they couldn’t find a second goal which would have had their opponents reeling in the final stages of the match, as Barcelona secured another Champions League final.
There was a late appearance for one, Eric Abidal, who was greeted with rapturous applause from everyone in the stadium after this his first game since his operation to remove a cancerous tumour.
Barcelona will wait to see who they will face at Wembley on the 28th May, with Manchester United facing Schalke in the second leg tomorrow night, with the English side taking a 2-0 advantage back with them to Old Trafford.
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match