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Copa del Rey
January 25, 2013
• Estadio La Rosaleda, Málaga
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 27099
R. Santa Cruz 68'
Barcelona win Aggregate 6 - 4
L. Messi 80'
That's all from me for this evening guys and girls! Thanks for joining me! Good night.
FULL-TIME: MALAGA 2-4 BARCELONA (Barca win 6-4 on aggregate) The visitors booked their place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals with an up-and-down performance at La Rosaleda. Going forward was never a problem as Pedro, Pique, Iniesta and Messi all found the back of the net, but they looked susceptible at the back, as was evident when Joaquin and Santa Cruz scored fine goals for Pellegrini's side. The home side put in a great performance but were undone by some moments of attacking brilliance from Barcelona in the second half. Next up for the Blaugrana in the last four? Real Madrid. Tasty.
90' + 2'
And there is the final whistle! Barcelona go through!
90' + 1'
There will be two minutes of added play here at La Rosaleda...
FABREGAS NEARLY ADDS A FIFTH!! The former Arsenal man saunters into the Malaga box to control a pass from Sanchez and fire a shot towards the bottom corner. Kameni reads the flight of the ball well though and parries it away to safety. The Malaga goalkeeper has been brilliant despite conceding four!
It's Chile vs. Chile as Sanchez races against Iturra for possession in the Malaga left-back position. Astonishingly, Iturra, who has ran his heart out for 89 minutes, beats the electric-quick substitute to the ball!
Corner to Malaga on the right...
Roura's side waste a few more valuable seconds with another substitution. Alexis Sanchez comes on for Pedro for the Blaugrana.
Hearing reports that Messi requested to be subbed off a few moments ago as a precaution. I'm sure we will hear more on that after the game.
The visitors look comfortable going into the final stages of this game. They lead 6-4 on aggregate now.
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
Barcelona make a change of their own: Thiago comes on for Messi with under 10 minutes to play.
Amidst that flurry of action Lucas Piazon was introduced for his debut by Malaga. The Brazilian attacker recently joined the Andalusian club on loan from Chelsea.
Assist Daniel Alves
Goal Lionel Messi
Just as I was about to comment on Messi's non-appearance on the scoresheet... GOALLLL!!! MESSI MAKES IT 4-2!! The Argentine increases Barcelona's lead with a close range header from Alves' curling cross on the right. That's two assists for the Brazilian full-back this evening!
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
THAT IS ONE OF THE BEST GOALS YOU WILL SEE ALL SEASON!! BARCELONA LEAD 3-2!! Iniesta fires a pass into Fabregas on the edge of the Malaga box, he pirouettes past two tackles before nonchalantly flicking a pass back towards his team-mate who had carried on his run into the box. Iniesta then slid a neat finish underneath Kameni and into the net. Supreme play from Barcelona.
More fine play from Joaquin! The former Valencia man has lived up to his billing as Goal.com's Player to Watch tonight, he's scored one and set up another, and has caused absolute havoc all game. On this occasion he pushes the ball past Alba on the wing and forces the full-back to foul him and concede a free kick.
If the score remains the same then this match is going to extra-time and possibly penalties!
Barcelona were furious that play was able to continue long enough for Malaga to score as Fabregas wanted treatment for an injury. The Barca attacker was fit enough to scream at the referee as Malaga broke forward, so I don't think he was that hurt.
Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
Goal Roque Santa Cruz
2-2!!! MALAGA SCORE ON THE COUNTER!! This match is all tied up thanks to a perfect low finish from Santa Cruz from 18 yards after he was teed up by the effervescent Joaquin. 20 minutes left and there is everything to play for at La Rosaleda!
ANOTHER SAVE FROM KAMENI!! The Malaga goalkeeper thwarts Messi for the third time this evening with a great stop from close range.
TIMELY TACKLING FROM CAMACHO!! Messi looks poised to make it 3-1 after jynxing past three Malaga players only for Camacho to appear from nowhere and push the ball away from the 25-year-old just as he sets to shoot.
Malaga are leaving gaps in defence as they struggle to deal with Barcelona's fluid attacking play. To be honest, that has got to be expected at some point, they've now played their opponents tonight three times in less than two weeks!
STAT: Iniesta's assist for Barcelona's second goal this evening was his 15th of the season in all competitions. What a player he is!
Jordi Alba produces a carbon copy of the run he made to score in the European Championship final against Italy to race onto Fabregas' perfect pass but rather than shoot and score like he did in Kiev, he tries and fails to pick out Messi in the centre of the penalty area.
Mascherano and Alba are having what appears to be a lighthearted disagreement in the Barca defence after the latter misread a pass. Incredible to see them looking playful at this stage in the tie!
A wayward pass from Camacho is pounced upon by Alves and Barcelona have an opportunity to break on the counter. Malaga eventually get men back behind the ball to defend but the visitors still have possession.
Messi steps past a couple of challenges on the right before shifting the ball onto his trusted left foot but he too fails to hit the target as his shot flies over Kameni's crossbar.
Iturra has some space on the left for Malaga and after slipping the pass into Seba Fernandez then receives it back before sending an arcing cross towards Santa Cruz, only for the Paraguay international to send his effort way off target.
Dani Alves is desperate for a return pass after making a lungbursting run forward but Messi looks the other way and plays the ball left rather than right. Alves is not happy about that decision!
Which means... Barcelona now lead 4-3 on aggregate with two away goals. So if Malaga want to win this in normal time they will have to score twice in this second half.
PIQUE SCORES A BEAUTY FOR BARCELONA!! 2-1 TO THE VISITORS!! The defender controls Iniesta's pass on the edge of the box with his chest before slotting the ball under Kameni and into the back of the net. I don't know why Pique was in that position in open play but I'm glad he was! A fine take and finish from the man who recently became a father.
Joaquin motors forward down the right for Malaga but is dispossessed by an elegant challenge from Busquets. The home team's fans are up in uproar at the lack of a free kick but that tackle was timed to perfection by Busquets.
A few of you on Twitter were mentioning the number of yellow cards we've seen in this match. Like you I would be very surprised if 22 players walked off the pitch at the final whistle.
We are back underway at La Rosaleda. Barcelona looked out of sorts in that first half, while Malaga performed brilliantly, which all sets up an enticing second 45 minutes!
HALF-TIME: MALAGA 1-1 BARCELONA The home side remain on course for a semi-final meeting with Real Madrid as they still lead on away goals with the score in this tie at 3-3 on aggregate. Barcelona took a 1-0 lead in the first half of this second leg through the head of Pedro before Joaquin rifled home a superb equaliser. This tie could still go either way though so be sure to join me in 10 minutes for the second half!
45' + 2'
And there is the half-time whistle!
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Cesc Fàbregas
45' + 1'
The referee has been perhaps a little too eager to get his cards out in this first half, but you can't argue with that decision. Fabregas gets a yellow card for simulation on the left-hand side.
Xavi nicks the ball from Iturra and slips a pass to Messi, but the Argentine is stopped in his tracks by a cynical block from Seba. Barca have a free kick 40 yards out...
Fortunately for the two defenders Barcelona have failed to take advantage of their sloppy play.
Malaga are gifting Barcelona possession in dangerous areas at the moment. Twice in the past minute Weligton and Demichelis have sent passes straight to Messi and Iniesta!
Yellow Card Weligton
Pinball inside the Malaga box! Fabregas dissects the Malaga defence with a delightful pass to Messi but his deflected effort that looks to be heading wide anyway is hammered behind by Weligton.
Yellow Card Jordi Alba
SMART GOALKEEPING FROM PINTO!! Malaga work the ball well to Camacho who hits a fine first-time effort at goal from 20 yards that Pinto saves down low. The ball is spilled out towards Seba but the Barcelona goalkeeper manages to react quickly and dive on it before the Malaga attacker can poke the ball home.
INIESTA CLIPS THE TOP OF THE BAR!! Barcelona nearly take the lead, but for the woodwork! Iniesta exchanged a fantastic one-two with Messi before curling a shot onto the bar from 15 yards with Kameni well-beaten. That would have been a magnificent way to go a goal ahead!
Right, here's some inconsistent refereeing! Iturra was booked for handball earlier in the half, yet Iniesta has just got away with an almost identical offence. That's not fair at all and Pellegrini is livid on the sidelines.
Cheeky from Gamez! The young Malaga full-back slips a nutmeg through the legs of Busquets on the near side but the Barcelona midfielder soon gets retribution by winning the ball back with a crunching challenge.
Yellow Card Busquets
So half an hour in and it's 3-3 on aggregate! Malaga still go through on away goals at present. Will that change? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @charliefscott.
Joaquin holds off the challenge of Jordi Alba in an attacking position on the right before cutting onto his weaker foot and curling a delicious pass over to Santa Cruz on the left. The Paraguayan cannot pick out Seba with a pass though, and Barcelona can hack the ball upfield.
Barca have another chance to test Malaga's defence from a corner but this time they waste it as a high hopeful cross is dealt with expertly by Weligton.
Yellow Card Eliseu
AND ANOTHER!! Kameni stops Messi again, this time at the near post after a corner was played short to Barcelona's No. 10.
GOOD STOP FROM KAMENI!! The Malaga goalkeeper keeps the scores level after Messi had stolen the ball from Martin Demichelis and driven into the box. The Argentine's strike was perhaps slightly too central to beat Kameni, but that was still an impressive save!
Kameni is out quickly to steal the ball ahead of Iniesta as he looks to latch on to Messi's improvised chipped pass over the Malaga defence. Alert goalkeeping from the Cameroonian!
STAT: Pedro has scored four in his last five appearances for Barcelona. Not bad Peter, not bad.
Manuel Pellegrini is up on his feet in the Malaga technical area and is gesturing furiously at his players. He looks angry but his side have started this game confidently!
Malaga threaten again!! Duda ghosts into the Barca box and attempts to flick a cross towards Santa Cruz at the back post, but Pique is able to get across well and block the cross to avert the danger.
Iturra, who is already on a yellow card in this match, goes flying into a challenge with Messi just inside the Barca half. He has got to be careful out there, the Malaga midfielder.
Iniesta tries to feint his way into the Malaga box but Gamez keeps his wits about him at right-back to track the Barca star's run and poke the ball behind for a corner.
Yellow Card M. Iturra
That goal from Joaquin has livened Malaga up, and the same player is nearly in one-on-one with Pinto but for the linesman on the near side's flag! That was a tight but correct decision from the official.
Malaga's Iturra finds his way into the referee's notebook after trying to handle the ball on the halfway line. That was a silly decision from the midfielder, the referee was stood just yards away.
Are you not entertained? What a start we have had here in Malaga. 1-1 after 13 minutes!
JOAQUIN HAS DRAWN MALAGA LEVEL WITH A FINE STRIKE!! The former Valencia winger smashes a shot into the bottom corner after receiving a pass from Duda and brushing off the challenge of Pique on the edge of the Barca box. What a brilliant hit that was!
Cesc is down after being caught by Camacho on the left and he looks in a fair amount of pain there.
Assist Daniel Alves
GOALLL!!! PEDRO CAPS OFF A MARVELOUS MOVE!! The ball is worked into the path of the overlapping Dani Alves on the right-hand side of the Malaga box and he takes his time before picking Pedro out with a delightfully dinked cross which leaves an easy header for the former Masia man. 1-0 to Barca!
That stat seems to have sparked things into life nicely! Cesc turns supremely past the challenge from Manuel Iturra 30 yards from goal but with Xavi open to his right he opts to try and thread a pass to Iniesta on his other side. It's the wrong option, as Jesus Gamez is able to intercept the ball and clear it away for the home side.
STAT TIME! Barcelona have scored at least two goals in their last ten matches against Malaga in all competitions.
It's been a slow start from both sides here, Barcelona are keeping the ball well but aren't doing much with it!
That wasn't a nice pass from Pique to Pinto! The centre-back hammered a backpass to the Barcelona goalkeeper, and he had a job on his hands keeping the ball from flying out for a corner to Malaga.
Barcelona get the ball in a defensive position and start to work the ball slowly along their backline. A patient start to say the least from the visitors.
Off we go here at La Rosaleda...
Xavi captains Barcelona this evening as Carlos Puyol is named on the bench. The veteran centre-back signed a new contract at the club this week, while his defensive partner Gerard Pique became a father!
So the big team news is that Isco misses the match tonight through injury. That is a big blow for Malaga. Barcelona meanwhile are at pretty much full-strength!
Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Cesc; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta
Malaga (4-4-2): Kameni; Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Eliseu; Seba, Camacho, Iturra, Duda; Joaquin, Santa Cruz
Anyway, enough chat from me, here are the two side's starting XIs:
Real Madrid await the victors of this tie, after they coasted past Valencia on their way to the semi-finals. Los Blancos are focusing on cup competitions after falling so far behind in La Liga, which makes the prospect of facing them in the next round even more daunting.
My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be available on Twitter at @charliefscott if you want to make your feelings or thoughts on the game known at any point during proceedings tonight.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, here we are at La Rosaleda, and here Barcelona are on the back foot of their two-legged Copa del Rey quarter-final against Malaga. The first leg finished 2-2 at Camp Nou last week, as goals from Manuel Iturra and Ignacio Camacho stunned the Catalan giants and earned Manuel Pellegrini's team a draw and what could prove two vital away goals.
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