Barcelona vs Real Madrid Match Preview
FC Barcelona will be defending a 2-0 aggregate lead when they face bitter rivals Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg.
FC Barcelona will be defending a 2-0 aggregate lead against Real Madrid.
This game is guaranteed to be hostile after the events that took place before, during and after the first leg. Real manager Jose Mourinho accused his Barca counterpart Josep Guardiola of criticizing referees “for making a correct decision.” The usually mild mannered Guardiola responded with an expletive riddled tirade that shocked the Spanish media.
The first 75 minutes of the first leg were largely notable for nothing more than niggling fouls and heated debate. At half-time a brawl as the teams entered the tunnel resulted in Barcelona backup goalkeeper Jose Pinto being shown a red card.
In the second half Real defender Pepe received his marching orders for a lunging foul on Dani Alves. Mourinho was sent to the stands for his furious reaction, and gave a scathing press conference claiming he was “disgusted at the world we live in,” and claimed he would like to see Guardiola win “one clean Champions League.”
The last 15 minutes saw Lionel Messi show why he is revered as the best player on earth for so many. Messi opened the scoring by turning home Ibrahim Affelay’s cross, and then danced past three defenders before clipping past Iker Casillas for the 2-0 aggregate lead.
The fallout saw both teams lodge official complaints that were subsequently rejected by UEFA.
To top it off, Real also appear unable to get along with each other. Rumors are rife claiming that Mourinho and star man Cristiano Ronaldo are feuding over the defensive tactics employed in the first leg by Madrid.
Defensive pair Gabriel Milito and Martin Montoya are ruled out for Barca, while Eric Abidal is a long term injury absentee. Star midfielder Andres Iniesta is doubtful with a calf injury and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.
Defenders Pepe and Sergio Ramos will be suspended for Real, while manager Mourinho will be forced to watch from the stands are his red card during the first leg.
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – If Real are to have a chance of a comeback win, they must keep the little maestro quiet and prevent him adding to his season tally of over 50 goals.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – The French striker was an unused substitute in the first leg, but will likely receive a start as Real chase a two goal deficit. With 6 goals for in only 8 Champions League games, Benzema has been Real’s most prolific marksman in Europe this season.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Match Report
FC Barcelona booked their place in the UEFA Champions League Final on Tuesday with a 1-1 second leg draw against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.
FC Barcelona players celebrate reaching the UEFA Champions League Final.
After their 2-0 first leg victory at the Bernabeu, Barca earned a 3-1 aggregate victory in a bad tempered affair over two legs.
Pedro opened the scoring for Barcelona, before Marcelo fired home an equalizer for Los Blancos. Real tried desperately to make the aggregate score closer but spent long spells chasing possession as Barcelona closed out the win n style.
Real started the game strongly with Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo looking particularly threatening. Lionel Messi threatened at the other end for Barca and as the game went on Xavi and Andres Iniesta began to keep possession in familiar fashion.
Barca began to gain the upper hand and Sergio Busquets had a header saved by Iker Casillas. Messi also forced two quick saves from Casillas, and the Spanish goalkeeper also denied David Villa as the Catalans poured forward in attack.
Messi and Pedro missed chances to open the scoring by firing off target for Barca and the teams went in scoreless at half-time.
Real came out in the second half knowing they needed two goals to stay alive and thought they had halved the deficit when Gonzalo Higuain slotted past Victor Valdes. The goal was ruled out for an apparent foul by Ronaldo during the buildup.
Things soon got worse for Los Blancos when Iniesta split the Real defense and Pedro fired past Casillas for a 1-0 lead.
Real equalized when Angel Di Maria set up Marcelo and the Brazilian fullback smashed the ball beyond Valdes to bring the aggregate deficit to 3-1.
Two unanswered goals for Real would have saw them advance, but they never came close. Barcelona strung passes together and the game ended without spilling over despite a number of late fouls.
Barcelona will now face Manchester United or Shalke 04 in the final at Wembley Stadium on 28th May.
BAR – Pedro Rodriguez (Andres Iniesta) 54’
REA – Marcelo (Angel Di Maria) 64’
BAR – Valdes, Daniel, Pique, Puyol (Abidal 90), Xavi, Iniesta, Mascherano, Busquets, Villa (Keita 74), Messi, Pedro (Affelay 90+3).
REA – Casillas, Carvalho, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Albiol, Ronaldo, Kaka (Ozil 60), Diarra, Alonso, Di Maria, Higuain (Adebayor 55).
LiveSoccerTV Man of the Match: Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona).