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Copa del Rey
January 31, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
• Attendance: 80000
R. Varane 81'
Full time in Santiago Bernabeu. An enthralling encounter between Real Madrid and Barcelona ends in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. Fabregas opened the scoring with a neat finish five minutes after the re-start but man of the match, Raphael Varane, evened the score with a powerful header 10 minutes from time. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the second leg! I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
90' + 2'
Wonderful challenge from Puyol!!! The ball breaks to Ozil on the left and the German lashes an attempt at goal but the Barca captain blocks the strike with a superb tackle!
90' + 1'
A succession of Madrid corner kicks has Barcelona under real pressure here. They have kept solid in the final minutes though, not long to hold out!
Yellow Card Xabi Alonso
Breathless end to the match. Barcelona look as if they have settled for the draw and it is Madrid who are piling forward in search of the winning goal. Surely not?!
Xabi Alonso gets in amongst the yellow cards. The Madrid man couldn't resist a swipe at Messi when the Argentine was bursting through the middle. Deserved booking.
A lot of people would be looking at Diego Lopez possibly making a mistake tonight, but he has performed excellently in goal and dealt with everything that was thrown at him.
Brilliant save by Diego Lopez!!! Jordi Alba breaks through on goal and fires a half-volley towards the top corner but the Madrid 'keeper tip the ball over with a strong right hand!
The Catalans may be fine with a draw. A 1-1 result is not a bad result to take back to Camp Nou, especially with that vital away goal in the bag.
Barcelona make their second change as Fabregas is replaced by Thiago Alcantara.
Just over five minutes remaining. The game is still incredibly open so we have plenty of time for a team to snatch the winner.
The Santiago Bernabeu faithful are urging their players forward to search for a winning goal. Now wouldn't that be some turnaround?!
Don't forget, Varane is making his Clasico debut this evening. I don't think he'll ever forget this one!
Yellow Card Carles Puyol
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Raphaël Varane
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!! LOS BLANCOS EQUALISE!!! Raphael Varane rises high to bullet home a header from a Mesut Ozil free kick from the right! 1-1!
Madrid looking to pile on the pressure now. 10 minutes remaining!
Superb challenge again from Varane!! Messi goes on trademark run through the middle and looks to burst into the penalty area but the 19-year-old snatches the ball back with yet another well-timed tackle. He has made some impression.
Messi finds the Real Madrid net but the ball is brought back for an offside. Alexis chipped a ball through the middle and the Argentine wonderfully lobbed Diego Lopez, but the Argentine was correctly flagged offside.
The Chilean has not found his best form in recent months for Barcelona. What a match this would be to catalyse your season.
First change of the match from Barcelona. Pedro comes off and Alexis Sanchez is introduced into the action.
Both sides surrendering possession fairly cheaply at the moment. Fair play to both teams, they have kept the tempo of their pressing at a high level so far. But how long can that last?
Obviously we still have the second leg to go, but Los Blancos really don't want to be taking a deficit to a match at Camp Nou.
Now the tension has really cranked up. Those two Barcelona chances have gave Real Madrid a kick up the backside and they realise now that they will need to grab a goal before the 90 minutes is out.
Yellow Card Daniel Alves
Pedro misses a sitter!!! The 25-year-old shows lightning pace to run through on goal but procrastinates in hitting his shot and eventually dinks the ball wide of the left-hand post!!
Naughty from Alves. The Brazilian goes in very late on Ronaldo down the left-hand side and receives a booking. Free kick to Madrid.
The game is end-to-end stuff now. There are definitely more goals in this!
Fabregas should score!!! Alves is in acres of space down the right and reverses a pass inside the box for the former Arsenal man, who lifts a shot over the crossbar from 12 yards out! It should be 2-0 Barca!
There has been tremendous commitment from both sides so far. It has not really been a fiery affair, but the determination is certainly there.
Pedro is making his 200th appearance for Barcelona tonight. Quite a quiet game from him tonight, but he is always capable of popping up with a goal.
No pain no gain. Pique is down injured after clearing the ball away. He just took a sore one on the knee form Ronaldo after the tackle, but there was nothing malicious in it. He'll be okay.
Brilliant challenge from Pique!! Ozil turns a superb cross to the back post from the right-hand side and Ronaldo, again, looks poised to smash home, but the Barca defender twists his body to pull the ball away from goal! Superb defending!
Arbeloa is lucky to be out of the referee's book. He has put in a number of late challenges but so far has evaded a yellow card. The latest victim is Fabregas who stays down for a few moments.
Second change of the match from Real Madrid. Karim Benzema is withdrawn for Gonzalo Higuain. That will be a like-for-like switch up top for the hosts.
Great save by Diego Lopez!! Alves picks up the ball just to the right of the box and drives a shot towards goal but the new Madrid goalkeeper stayed concentrated to beat the attempt away. Good block as the ball was moving all over the place.
Alves manages to keep the ball in down the right and floats a cross to the front post, but Carvalho is there to powerfully head the ball away. Better defending from the former Chelsea man.
Madrid growing in confidence now. I think we are in for a cracking last 30 minutes!
What a miss by Ronaldo!!! Essien curls a teasing cross to the back post and the Madrid captain looks certain to score, but heads wide from two yards!! Barcelona let off the hook!
Jose Mourinho makes his first change of the match. Jose Callejon, who was at fault for Barcelona's goal, comes off for Luka Modric.
What a game Varane is having. In a game with Xavi, XabI Alonso, Iniesta and co. The the Frenchman was the only player in the first half not to give away the ball. Unbelievable stat.
Fantastic challenge from Varane!! Fabregas is through on goal and bearing down on Diego Lopez but the Madrid defender shows incredible pace and determination to sprint back and claw the ball back with a slide challenge.
Madrid need to pick themselves up quickly. They don't want to take an insurmountable deficit back to Camp Nou for the second leg.
The space is just starting to open up for Barcelona. Essien and Arbeloa are defending much more narrowly and there is room being created on the wings as a result.
Madrid should not be too down heartened. With the firepower they have in attack, they are capable of scoring at any time in the match, or indeed the next leg.
The Catalans have the crucial away goal they were searching for. How vital will that prove to be?
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Madrid clear the ball out of the box but Messi nips in and tackles the ball into the path of Fabregas who runs through on goal and curls the ball into the bottom left corner! 1-0 Barcelona!
Barca are pressing very highly, which is a good tactic as Carvalho has not looked comfortable on the ball whatsoever.
Madrid manage to scramble clear!! Xavi is surrounded by players in white back somehow flicks the ball into the path of Fabregas, who clips the ball to the back post, but the hosts survive!
Benzema balloons over the top! The Frenchman exchanges a lovely-one two with Ronaldo and receives the ball on the edge of the box, but he is leaning back and his attempt goes a few yards north of the crossbar.
We are back under way at Santiago Bernabeu!
The player are back out on the pitch. We should be back under way in a few moments!
At the end of this match, we will, ofcourse, be only at the halfway stage of this tie. Will both teams go for broke or will they have an eye on the return leg at Camp Nou?
The outstanding player of the first half was Real Madrid's Raphael Varane. The 19-year-old showed composure and desire beyond his years at the back and has put in some superb challenges. Not necessarily one for the future, what about the present?
Half time in Santiago Bernabeu. The Clasico is all square as we enter the break. Barcelona and Real Madrid have matched each other 50-50 so far with both sides exchanging decent opportunities inside the first 45 minutes. Alba and Benzema had the best chances to give their side the lead but neither was able to convert. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half! You don't want to miss it!
One minute of added on time to be played.
Arbeloa is getting in amongst it again. This time his target is Iniesta, who was showing his sparkling feet inside the centre circle. Too rough from the Madrid man, however, and Barca get the free kick.
A goal before the break would really put the cat amongst the pigeons here. Neither side deserve to be a goal down really, and both will probably be relatively content going into half time at 0-0.
Yellow Card José Callejón
Xavi slides, as he so often does, a pass down the right to the onrushing Alves but the Brazilian's deep cross evades everyone in the penalty area and Madrid manage to clear.
Third booking of the match goes to Jose Callejon. The Madrid man pulled the shirt of Alba down the left-hand side.
A light tiff breaks out as Xabi Alonso goes in slightly late on Dani Alves. Handbags ladies and gentleman!
Barca, once again, stifle the ascendancy of Real Madrid by patiently keeping possession at the back and deep in midfield.
The atmosphere has cranked up even more if it is possible! The Madrid faithful sense their players are on top at the moment and want them to go for a goal!
Great punch by Pinto. Madrid counterattack through Mesut Ozil down the middle and the ball finds its way to Arbeloa who lashes a strike at goal. The ball deflects up in the air and the Barca 'keeper commandingly clears his area.
I have no idea how this match is 0-0. It is incredibly open and both sides have created chances. Surely it's a matter of time before the deadlock is broken!
A small break in play at the moment as Pinto is down injured. It actually looked like it was Alves who caught his own goalkeeper. An eye-watering injury between the legs...
How have Madrid not scored?! Callejon drives a cross along the six yard box and there is a scramble inside the area! A fantastic challenge from Dani Alves snatches the ball from the feet of Ronaldo! Great defending!
The Santiago Bernabeu crowd erupts and demands a free kick for a foul on Mesut Ozil! Busquets came from behind and nipped the ball away from the German. No foul in there whatsoever.
Good interception from Arbeloa. Barca were starting to up the tempo of their passing in the final third but the former Liverpool man came in with a vital touch to steal the ball back for Madrid.
Messi steps up and whips the free kick towards the far corner but the ball goes a yard or two over the bar.
The Barca players are demanding a booking for Ronaldo. The Portuguese just clipped the heel of Dani Alves down the right when the Brazilian looked poised to cross into the box. No booking but a free kick to the Catalans.
Messi is looking for the free kick on the edge of the box after being bundled over by Essien. Looked a fair enough tackle. The referee waves play on.
Poor control from Callejon! Xabi Alonso slides a fantastic pass down the inside right channel for his team-mate, but a poor touch allows Pinto to come out and gratefully claim possession!
Better pressure from Madrid. The hosts are playing crosses and passes continually into the Barca penalty area but the visitors are remaining solid for the moment. Sustained period of possession for Mourinho's men.
BENZEMA!!! So close! The Frenchman receives a ball over the top and lashes a left-footed volley towards the top corner but it goes a whisker by the post! Pinto was never getting there!
Barca continue their short passing in the middle of the park. There is just little bursts of chances at the moment. Who will strike first?
Not a great start to the match from Carvalho. The Portuguese has already received a yellow card and looks susceptible any time he is on the ball.
VARANE BLOCKS ON THE LINE!! Carvalho gives a horrendous back pass to Lopez and Messi intercepts. The Argentine slips the ball inside to Xavi who smashes a shot towards goal, but the Frenchman is there to clear! Great defending from Varane! Horrible from Carvalho!
Very good goalkeeping from Diego Lopez. Pedro looks to latch on to an incisive pass through the middle but the Madrid goalkeeper is decisive and comes out to claim.
Busquets takes a sore one. Jose Callejon goes in slightly two-footed and catches the midfielder on the ankle. That looked painful!
XAVI HITS THE BAR!!! The Barcelona captain pulls rank over Messi and curls a glorious free kick towards the top corner, but Madrid are saved by the woodwork! So unlucky!
Free kick to Barcelona in a useful position 20 yards from goal. It looks like Messi fancies this...
Just too high for Ronaldo!! Benzema gets to the byline and clips an excellent cross to the back post for his team-mate, but the Portuguese cannot stretch high enough to get a header on goal! Inches though, only inches.
The Catalan side are being very patient in their build-up play. No rush in any of their play at the back. They are just aiming to find that killer pass down the channels or through the middle.
Yellow Card Ricardo Carvalho
The tackles are coming in thick and fast now. Arbeloa and Alves, in particular, are having a real battle down that right flank.
Madrid's first yellow card goes, unsurprisingly, to Ricardo Carvalho. The former Chelsea man body checked Cesc Fabregas just inside his own half. Barcelona take a quick free kick.
Barcelona looking to frustrate their opponents at the moment. They are putting together a lengthy run of passes in the Madrid half.
All 11 of Madrid's players are behind the ball at the moment. They won't mind that too much. After all, their most potent threat is the pace of their counterattacks.
Poor miss from Alba!! Messi drives down the middle and scoops a wonderful pass over the Real Madrid defence to the left-hand side. The former Valencia man meets the ball but horribly volleys wide! Best chance of the match so far!
We can finally take a breath as the tempo of the match slows down a bit. Madrid have retreated back into their own half and they are allowing Barca to have the ball for a small period.
Nothing comes from the set-piece and Barca clear. You get the feeling that the hosts will be looking to make the most out of any free kicks or corners they can gain against a backline who have been leaking goals recently.
Pinto has to be on his toes! Michael Essien gallops down the right and swings a cross into the box. The ball twists towards goal and the Barca 'keeper has to tip over the bar. Real Madrid corner!
A very proud moment for Cristiano Ronaldo tonight. The Portuguese captains Los Blancos for the first time in a Clasico. Will he mark the occasion with a goal?
Barcelona have indeed started to dictate possession in and around the centre circle. Xavi, Busquets, and Fabregas just beginning to get a foothold on proceedings.
Barcelona are receiving thunderous boos from the home crowd any time they attempt to play the ball around. It really is a cracking atmosphere. Isn't it always in the Clasico?
Clever from Alves. The Brazilian was clipped by Arbeloa and has went down clutching his foot. A good tactic to try and soften the atmosphere inside the Santiago Bernabeu.
Now Barcelona can attempt to get their foot on the ball. Madrid were on the ascendancy but a poor pass from Khedira handed possession back to the Catalan side.
Madrid have started with a brilliant attitude. They are looking to go for the jugular early doors here!
Great save by Pinto!! Ronaldo dips a wicked free kick towards goal and the Barcelona 'keeper tips the ball away! Dani Alves just manages to get in front of Karim Benzema to clear the ball to safety!
The match has started at lightning pace! Free kick to Real Madrid on the edge of the box. Ronaldo ran at pace towards goal and was brought down by Gerard Pique. The Barca man receives a very early yellow card.
Yellow Card Piqué
Fasten your seat belts, the Clasico is under way!
The atmosphere in Santiago Bernabeu is building. The players are just undertaking the pre-match formalities. Not too long now!
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continued their epic rivalry at the weekend in La Liga action. The Portuguese scored a superb hat-trick in Real Madrid's victory over Getafe. What did Messi do? He went out and netted four against Osasuna.
With the exception of perhaps Jose Pinto in goal, Barcelona are at full strength this evening. With Madrid fielding a second-string defence tonight, are Los Cules the favourites for the Clasico?
Jose Mourinho has certainly had some selection issues heading into this first leg Copa del Rey tie. Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria are all suspended and Pepe is out with an ankle injury.
Lopez played two first-team matches for Real Madrid in 2006, and has recently spoke of his delight at returning to the capital club.
The biggest team news coming out of Santiago Bernabeu tonight is that Diego Lopez will be making his second debut for Los Blancos. The former Sevilla goalkeeper was brought in to replace the injured Iker Casillas, who is currently sidelined with a broken hand.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas; Iniesta, Messi, Pedro.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Essien, Carvalho, Varane, Arbeloa; Khedira, Alonso; Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action this evening. There is no match quite like the Clasico in terms of drama and entertainment, so let's hope we see more of the same tonight!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Copa del Rey semi-final clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu!
Welcome...to the Clasico!!
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