Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Barça’s epic comeback win (1-2)
FC Barcelona presented their manager, who on Wednesday celebrated his 41st birthday, with an epic comeback win at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Spanish Cup. Puyol and Abidal scored the goals.
Madrid (FCB).- Football triumphed again. FC Barcelona, ??with goals from Puyol and Abidal, defeated Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu stadium in the first leg of the Spanish Cup quarterfinals. The match that was similar to the Spanish League game (3-1), with regard to how the game went, with Madrid scoring first. The match left the same sensations as the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League (2-0 to Barça) regarding Madrid\u2019s approach to the game. In both previous games, just like on Wednesday, Guardiola\u2019s team won the game, and he can celebrate an unforgettable 41st birthday. It's his fifth victory in Madrid.
The 2-1 margin could have been much greater. For Barça, the midfield controlled the game, and two defenders decided it, whilst for Real Madrid the forwards could only defend. Two football concepts which, in practice, meant that Barcelona totally dominated the game, ??and they\u2019ll go into the return leg at the Camp Nou (Wednesday 25th at 22h00 CET) with a slight advantage.
The ball belonged to Barça
Guardiola gambled on the starting eleven that gave him victory in the Spanish League a month ago, with the only change being Pinto for Valdés. Mourinho, however, came up with a surprising, and revolutionary, starting eleven, with Altintop at right-back, Carvalho as central defender, and Pepe in midfield. FC Barcelona had total possession from the start, whilst Madrid, with a crowded midfield, defended deep, in an approach similar to the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.
Ronaldo puts Madrid ahead
Cristiano Ronaldo, in a rapid counterattack that ended in a goal on 11 minutes, made Mourinho\u2019s tactics look good. The Portuguese player put Madrid ahead with the only shot on goal they had in the entire first half. The development of events was just like the Barça 3-1 win in the Spanish League, with Real Madrid scoring early on, but not unsettling Barça at all. They just carried on playing their football, and dominating the game, and Iniesta came close, Alexis, with a header onto the post, and Messi, almost tied up the game before halftime. They just didn\u2019t have any luck.
Puyol equalised from a header
The equaliser came just after the break, with a sublime diving header from Puyol, from a Xavi corner, very similar to the goal he scored to make it 2-1 in the 6-2 win. Suddenly, a bad result for Barça became a goldmine to take back home The goal affected Madrid badly, and they weren\u2019t comfortable at all for the rest of the game.
Abidal is eternal
The goal to make it 1-1 further strengthened Barça\u2019s domination. Yet another authentic monologue in Madrid, and another shot against the post, this time from Iniesta. In a rare Madrid attack, Benzema responded with a header that also struck the woodwork. The game, however, was going Barca\u2019s way, and Messi played a fantastic ball to Abidal who made it 2-1. The Frenchman beat Casillas with a deft left foot finish. A delightful goal, a great result, and a fantastic birthday present for Guardiola.
Happy Birthday Pep!