Live Commentary: Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid (2-4) - as it happened

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal against Celta Vigo on January 9, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at the Camp Nou as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.

Barcelona welcomed Real Madrid to the Camp Nou on Tuesday in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals with the two sides level at 1-1 from the first leg in Madrid.

It was Madrid that opened the scoring as Gerard Pique felled Cristiano Ronaldo in the penalty area, allowing the Portuguese to thump home from the spot.

Barcelona improved in the second period, but Ronaldo struck once more to move Madrid into a 3-1 lead on aggregate.

It was 3-0 on the evening after 68 minutes, however, when Raphael Varane thumped a header into the back of the net.

Jordi Alba handed Barcelona a late consolation, but it was a case of too little too late as the Catalan outfit exited the competition.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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7.01pmEvening all! There are many wonderful clashes in world football. AC Milan vs. Inter Milan, Manchester United vs. Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich, but Barcelona vs. Real Madrid just about shades it in terms of pure excitement around the globe. I cannot remember the last time a clash between the two sides had so much at stake.

7.04pmAs mentioned, the two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at the end of January, which leaves the tie delicately poised as things stand. It was Barcelona that took the lead in that particular match through Cesc Fabregas, but a late header from the ever-impressive Raphael Varane ensured that Madrid would enter the second leg on level terms.

7.07pmThere has certainly not been much to choose between the two sides in recent meetings, but Madrid have just shaded it with two wins in their last five matches against Barcelona. The last two, in the league and in the Copa del Rey, have ended in draws, while Madrid overcame Barcelona in the Super Cup at the beginning of the season.

7.10pmDigging into the record books, this is the 224th time that the two sides have met. You would not believe me if I told you that Real Madrid have won 88 times to Barcelona’s 87, but that is an indication of the battle between the Spanish duo. Victory for Barcelona this evening, and in the league at the weekend would move them clear in the all-time records.

7.13pmBarcelona have just stuttered in recent weeks with a 2-0 loss to AC Milan in the Champions League followed by a slender win over Sevilla in the league at the weekend. It is too soon to speak of a dip in form, but having set such high standards, criticism is bound to arrive when they fall even slightly below.

7.16pmThat said, the Catalan outfit are currently on a 22-match unbeaten run on their own patch, while Real Madrid's away form this season has been far from spectacular, with five league defeats on the road. However, this is the type of occasion where form and previous results go out the window. It doesn’t matter what has happened before, this game is just about tonight.

7.19pmLet’s take a look at how each has fared in the league this season. Barcelona currently top the standings in Spain with 68 points. They are 16 points clear of third-placed Real Madrid and 12 clear of Atletico Madrid, who sit second. They have lost just once in the league this season, away to Real Sociedad, with their any dropped home points against Real Madrid. Right, the team news is just filtering in.

7.22pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: No David Villa in the Barcelona team this evening, but Pedro and Cesc Fabregas both return. Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol are paired in central defence, with Jose Pinto keeping his place between the sticks. Gonzalo Higuain will lead the line for Madrid, meanwhile, with Varane and Sergio Ramos also starting for the current Spanish champions. Full teams to follow.

7.25pmTEAMS:

BARCELONA: Pinto, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Iniesta

REAL MADRID: Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Ronaldo, Ozil, Di Maria; Higuain


7.28pmRight, back to the build-up. Barcelona also have the best away record in the league this season having won 11 of their 13 matches, taking 34 points in the process. To put that into context with Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho’s side have taken just 20 points from the same amount of games on the road. Only a minor miracle would prevent the Catalan club from claiming the title this season.

7.31pmHowever, it has been a league campaign to forget for Real Madrid. Having smashed the points total in the previous campaign, they entered the season as the strong favourites to claim the title once more. But poor away form, where they have lost five times, has left them way off the pace. That said, they will still feel that it is imperative that they finish second.

7.34pmIt hasn’t just been issues on the pitch that have harmed Real Madrid this season, with the continuous politics that surround the club. If there isn’t talk of Jose Mourinho departing, then the Portuguese is falling out with the Spanish-based players. When that passes, it is reported that Ronaldo is angling for a move back to Manchester United. It is a never ending circle.

7.37pmTalking of Ronaldo, the world's best two players will also be keen to impress this evening with Lionel Messi scoring 17 goals in his last 23 games against Real Madrid, while Ronaldo has seven in his last seven Clasicos. Long gone are the ludicrous suggestions that Ronaldo did not perform on the big occasions.

7.40pmProviding a better insight into Messi and Ronaldo this season, let’s have a look at their numbers. Messi has scored 38 league goals in 25 matches this season, while he has netted 49 in all competitions. Last season he registered 73 in 60, which he is certainly on course to break. Ronaldo, meanwhile, has 24 league goals this season and 37 in 38 in all competitions.

7.43pmJust a quick note on both sides made it to this stage of the competition. Barcelona secured their spot in the round of 16 with a comfortable victory over Alaves, while they were not tested as they overcame Cordoba in the next round. Malaga waited in the quarter-finals, with the first leg ending in a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou. However, in what many consider their best performance of the season, the Catalan outfit emerged 4-2 winners in the second leg to book their spot in the semi-finals.

7.46pmMourinho’s side were comfortable winners over Alcoyano in the round of 32. They found things tougher against Celta Vigo in the next round, but recovered form a first-leg defeat to turn things around on their home patch. Next came Valencia in the quarter-finals. They were perhaps lucky to take a 2-0 lead into the second leg, but they got the job done at the Mestalla with a 1-1 draw.

7.49pmDespite Barcelona’s incredible season to date, it has not all been plain sailing. The loss of Tito Vilanova to illness understandably had an effect, while they face a task to make the latter stages of the Champions League having lost 2-0 to AC Milan in the first leg of their last-16 clash. Should they fail to progress in Europe and exit the Copa del Rey at this stage, then it will be considered a disappointment even if they win the title.

7.52pmFor Real Madrid, the league is gone, which makes the two cup competitions so important. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United in the first leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League, which also places them in an uncomfortable position. It doesn’t matter what competition pits these two teams against each other, it is always special.

7.55pmRight, we are just about five minutes from kickoff, which can only mean one thing, time for my prediction. I expect there to be goals this evening, therefore I am backing Barcelona to win 3-2 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate. It has the potential to be one of the best Clasicos in recent seasons. Little over five minutes until the start of play.

7.58pmHere we go then. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. There are close to 100,000 people inside this wonderful stadium this evening. It is the match in world football for me. With the tie level at 1-1, anything can happen.

0 minThe atmosphere inside this stadium is absolutely electric. The pattern of the match is not hard to predict, Barcelona will dominate possession, with Madrid attempting to counter. Both teams have a host of players to hurt the other. It must be said that both sets of players were very friendly in the tunnel. I suspect that will change on the pitch. The home side get the match underway.

2 minA quick reminder of the main team news, no Villa for Barcelona, but Pedro and Fabregas both start. Madrid have Higuain leading their line, but there is no place for Kaka. Europe’s biggest stadium is packed to the rafters for this incredible occasion. Perhaps not too surprisingly, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the early stages of this Copa del Rey clash.

4 minFirst effort comes from the home side as Iniesta collects possession outside the box before firing towards the top corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. Barcelona have been criticised in recent weeks for their failure to shoot from distance. A half-chance falls to Messi moments later, but he fires just wide of the post.

6 minFirst involvement for Ronaldo as the Portuguese collects possession down the right, but there is no way to go, with Sergio Busquets across to make the challenge. The home side launch a counter down the other end moments later, forcing a free kick in the process, but Varane rises to clear under pressure from Puyol.

8 minMadrid's first free kick of the match brings whistles from the crowd as Puyol fells Higuain. The resulting set piece is played wide towards Di Maria, but his cross into the box is poor. Ronaldo collects moments later, but he combines with Ozil before moving into an offside position. Both teams posing threats in the early stages of the match.

10 minSlightly sloppy from both teams in the last few moments with each guilty of handing possession away in midfield. Barcelona work it into the middle, with Fabregas eventually striking the effort, but Lopez was always comfortable in dealing with the danger. Madrid attack down the other end with Ozil, but pressure from the home side forces the German backwards.

12 minDeafening noise inside the Camp Nou each time Madrid have possession of the ball. It promises to be a fascinating battle between Alba and Di Maria this evening with both players full of pace. No respite in this match at the moment as both teams continue to drive forward with pace. Stunning opening 12 minutes in Barcelona.

12 minHalf-chance for Ronaldo to move clear of the Barcelona defence as he is spotted by Higuain, but Alves comes across to clear at the vital moment. Ramos is involved moments later, but his ball is just too long for Ronaldo. You attack, we attack. You attack, we attack.

13 minIt's a really clumsy challenge from Di Maria as the Madrid midfielder bundles into the back of Messi just outside the penalty area. But the resulting free kick is taken quickly and it comes to nothing.

13 minPENALTY TO REAL MADRID!

13 minReal Madrid are awarded a penalty with 13 minutes on the clock as Pique fells Ronaldo in the box, with the Spaniard picking up a yellow card for his troubles. Absolute cert. Ronaldo will take the spot kick.

13 minGOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)

14 minDoes Ronaldo score? Of course he does. Never in doubt as Ronaldo thumps his effort into the back of the net. Silence in the Camp Nou. Wow, some 14 minutes to this match. This is El Clasico folks!

16 minI am not entirely sure what Pique was complaining about. He chopped Ronaldo down in the area. Barcelona want a penalty down the other end moments later as Fabregas falls to the ground in the box, but the referee shakes his head. Correct decision for me. Good grief there is some spice in this fixture. As if it would be anything different.

18 minReally strong response from the home side as they pen Madrid into their own penalty area, but the away side are such a threat on the counter with the pace of Ronaldo and Di Maria. It is the Madrid supporters that can be heard at the moment. I have a feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals this evening.

20 minHalf-chance for the home side as Messi slips a low pass towards Iniesta, but Lopez is out to collect at the vital moment. Barcelona really need to keep their cool at the moment as Ronaldo is chopped down by Alves once more. The Portuguese takes the resulting set piece, but he fires it over the crossbar.

22 minIt cannot be said that either team is really in control of the possession at the moment with each enjoying their fair share. The home side are really rattled, however, as they continue to make challenges off the ball. I would be amazed if we kept all 22 players on the pitch this evening. It wouldn't be a Clasico if we did.

24 minSpeculative effort from Ronaldo as he collects possession outside the box before thumping towards goal, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Just a reminder that away goals do indeed count in this competition, therefore a 1-1 draw in the second leg would take us into extra time. Another goal for Madrid and Barcelona would need to score three times.

26 minAnother effort comes from Ronaldo as he dances past two players before striking towards goal, but Pinto is on hand to make the save. Barcelona break down the other end, but Fabregas is chopped down by Arbeloa. What happens after? Both sets of players surround the referee. It is, without question, the hardest match to officiate in world football.

28 minHalf-chance for the home side this time as Fabregas beats the offside trap before firing a low cross into the box, but Varane is on hand to make the challenge. Ronaldo again threatens on the break down the other end, but Alves is across to make the clearance. End-to-end football as we approach the 30-minute mark in the match.

30 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Iniesta cuts inside before firing a low strike towards the bottom corner, but it just moves wide of the post. This match is so delicately poised at the moment that it isn't true. It must be said that Madrid have been sensational in the first half.

32 minIt is an old cliché but this really is like a basketball match at the moment. Ozil is involved for the team in white as he fires a low cross into the box, but Puyol stabs clear. Messi then combines with Iniesta down the other end, but he is crowded out at the vital moment. Little under 15 minutes of the first period to play and Madrid lead 1-0 on the night, 2-1 on aggregate.

34 minRonaldo is again involved for the away side as he collects possession outside the box before striking towards goal, but Pique makes the block. Everything from Madrid is just quicker at the moment, with Barcelona unable to find that elusive final pass. Please can we just play through half time?

36 minAgain Alves is the threat for the home side as he takes hold of possession before firing a low cross into the box, but Lopez is out to claim under pressure from Messi. In my opinion, Barcelona are missing David Villa at the moment. The Spaniard has allowed Messi to thrive in recent weeks. Barcelona have a penalty claim moments later as Pedro hits the deck, but the referee shakes his head.

38 minI have certainly see them given, but Pedro was indeed looking for the penalty under the challenge of Ramos. Another half-chance comes moments later as Alba fires a cross into the box, but Coentrao clears. Safe to say Barcelona are not too happy with the referee at the moment as Messi is blocked off in the box.

38 minBig opportunity for the home side as Messi collects possession before attempting to find Pedro, but Varane is just across to clear at the vital moment. Ronaldo has an effort down the other end, but Pinto is equal to the danger. This half shows no sign of letting up as the pace continues. Just stunning excitement in the Camp Nou.

40 minThe referee finally opens his notebook as Arbeloa fells Iniesta outside the penalty area. The resulting free kick is taken by Messi, but he just fires it wide of the post. For all the world it looked to have found the bottom corner, but it rattled into the side netting.

42 minAnother half-chance comes down the other end as Higuain strikes an effort from close range, but Pinto makes the block. Madrid have a free kick of their own moments later as Puyol fells Arbeloa, but the set piece from Ozil just moves wide of the post. Little over three minutes of the first period remaining.

44 minThe tempo of this match shows no sign of letting up in the latter stages of the half as both teams continue to attack with pace and numbers. It is just incredible how quickly this first period has flown by. Can Madrid hold onto their lead for the next couple of minutes?

45 minBarcelona are not happy once more as Madrid are awarded a free kick for a clash in the penalty area between Pique and Varane. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of stoppage time.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid (1-2 on aggregate)

8.50pmSo there we have it. Incredible half of football between Barcelona and Real Madrid, with the latter leading 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate. Barcelona may have dominated the possession, but Madrid have certainly been more dangerous in the final third.

8.54pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the first period. The home side have dominated the possession with 68%, while they have managed seven attempts to Madrid's eight. However, the away side have worked Pinto three times, while Barcelona have registered just one shot on target.

8.58pmWhat about the benches for this evening? There is an incredible wealth of talent in each squad. Barcelona have the likes of Villa, Tello and Thiago on the sidelines, while Madrid have Kaka, Benzema and Modric to name but a few. There are certainly goals in that list.

9.02pmJust a reminder that away goals do indeed count in this competition. Should Barcelona level, then we would be back to square one. However, another goal for Madrid and the home side would need to score three times to advance. The next goal really is everything in terms of this context. The second period is just moments away.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the second period. No changes for either side at the interval which is perhaps not all that surprising based on the events in the first half. Just a quick reminder that the second semi-final takes place tomorrow as Sevilla welcome Atletico Madrid. Right, the away side get the half underway.

48 minBarcelona were sent out some five minutes before Madrid at the interval. There already looks to be a better purpose about the home side with Messi dancing past two challenges before finding Iniesta, but again it breaks down. Madrid advance down the other end, but they are forced back into their own half.

50 minVarane's stock continues to rise as the Madrid defender comes across to challenge Messi. This time next season I suspect that the young Frenchman will be regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world. Again Ronaldo threatens down the other end as he fires a low cross into the box, but there are no takers on this occasion.

52 minSensational work from Di Maria once more as the Argentine comes back to deny Iniesta before advancing down the other end, eventually the ball comes to Coentrao on the left, but his low effort is straight at the goalkeeper. We have not seen much from Xavi and Fabregas in this match thus far. Famous last words?!

54 minBarcelona really do not look too comfortable in defence at the moment as Madrid continue to attack with pace and power. I cannot stress how important the next goal will be. In fairness to the home supporters that have stayed with their side thus far. A half-chance comes moments later, but Lopez gets down well to save from a Busquets effort.

56 minAgain Iniesta is involved for the home side as he cuts inside before finding Fabregas, but Ramos comes across to make the clearance. Real sense of frustration inside this stadium, but the crowd are raised by the sight of Villa warming up on the sidelines. I shouldn't think that it would be much longer until we see the striker.

57 minMadrid continue to pressure with two corners in quick succession, but Pique heads the first clear before Valdes comes to claim the second. In terms of the challenges, the referee has been much quieter in the second period, for now. Barcelona have just about 30 minutes to keep their place in this competition.

57 minGOAL! Barcelona 0-2 Real Madrid (Ronaldo)

58 minWOW! Madrid score their second of the evening as Ronaldo taps home from close range. It's wonderful work from Di Maria as the Argentine checks inside before firing an effort on goal, it falls kindly for Ronaldo, who thumps his effort into the back of the net.

60 minBarcelona make an immediate change as David Villa replaces Fabregas. It just has not happened for the midfielder this evening. The home side have just about 30 minutes to score three goals. In truth, there is more chance of Madrid scoring again in my opinion. Barcelona are certainly going through a poor period of form.

62 minAlmost silence inside the stadium as Madrid continue to dominate possession of the ball. Madrid may be 16 points off the title race, but in terms of these two teams, there is nothing to choose between them. Lopez is called into action for the away side, but he comes a long way to head clear.

64 minAnother half-chance comes to the home side as Alves finds the head of Pedro in the penalty area, but he can only flick his effort over the crossbar. Barcelona simply have to score in the next couple of moments to have a chance of progressing into the final. Ronaldo has a half-chance for the hat trick, but Pinto comes out to clear at the vital moment.

66 minMadrid look capable of scoring each time they attack at the moment with Barcelona's lack of pace in defence being tested. Pedro again hits the deck in the penalty area, but the referee shakes his head. The official will not be on Pedro's Christmas card list for 2013 that is for certain.

68 minMessi is again involved for the home side as he probes outside the box, but Varane is across to make the challenge at the vital moment. Higuain looks for Ronaldo down the other end moments later, but Busquets is across to clear. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining in the Camp Nou.

68 minGOAL! Barcelona 0-3 Real Madrid (Varane)

69 minGood grief! This game is over. It's stunning from Varane as the defender rises in the penalty area before thumping his header into the back of the net. What a wonderful display from the capital outfit this evening.

71 minThe Camp Nou has been stunned into silence here. Before this evening, Barcelona were unbeaten in their last 22 matches in this stadium. But that will end this evening. Have Barcelona been poor? Or have Madrid been sensational? I think it is a bit of both.

73 minMadrid make their first change of the match as Higuain is replaced by Jose Callejon. The Spaniard's pace will cause plenty of problems in the latter stages of this match. Meanwhile, it appears that Barcelona will make two changes in the next couple of moments.

75 minBarcelona do indeed make a change as Tello replaces Pedro. The home side want a penalty moments later as Messi tumbles in the penalty area, but the referee is simply not interested. It is almost like a training match at the moment with both sides aware that the tie has long been over.

77 minBarcelona make their third and final change of the match as Xavi is replaced by Thiago. A warm applause comes from the supporters, but their team has been well and truly dominated this evening. I would not back against another goal for Madrid in the latter stages, with Khedira and Ozil both joining the attack.

79 minSlightly unsavoury scenes in the crowd at the moment as it appears that a flair has been set off in the crowd. Let's hope that the stewards take charge of that situation without any injuries. Decent possession from the home side in the last few moments, but they just cannot find that pass in the final third.

81 minThe away side make another change as Ozil is replaced by Pepe. Little under 10 minutes of football remaining and Barcelona need to score four times in that period in order to make the final. Likely? If it happens I will eat my hat. But will they face Atletico Madrid or Sevilla in the final?

83 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments, with both sides playing in second gear. A reminder that the pair clash in the league on Saturday, but it is expected that Madrid will make changes with their Champions League clash with Manchester United on the horizon.

85 minAnother half-chance comes to Ronaldo as the Portuguese drives into the penalty area before striking a low effort on goal, but Pinto is across to make the save. Meanwhile, the away side make their third and final change of the match as Michael Essien replaces Alonso.

87 minOSCAR TO PEPE: Pepe gives his best Oscar performance as he throws himself to the ground under a slight challenge with Busquets. The smirk on his face says it all as he rises to his feet. What on earth was that! The referee has been very good this evening it must be said.

89 minDecent football from the home side in the latter stages with Messi and Iniesta combining in midfield, but there is simply no end product. Pique arrives in the box moments later before firing a low cross towards Villa, but it breaks down. Barcelona have managed just two attempts on target this evening.

89 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid (Alba)

90 minBarcelona do indeed open their tally for the evening as Iniesta spots Alba in the box, the defender takes one touch before clipping his effort into the back of the net. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of stoppage time.

90 min+3Barcelona continue to pressure in the latter stages of the match with back-to-back corners, but the danger is cleared by Lopez. Ronaldo collects possession moments later before carrying the ball 40 yards, with little under a minute of football remaining.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid (2-4 on aggregate)

9.55pmSo there we have it. Real Madrid win 3-1 on the evening and 4-2 on aggregate to book their spot in the final, where they will face either Atletico Madrid or Sevilla. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for the second semi-final tomorrow. Good evening!

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is congratulated by team mate Thiago after scoring against Getafe on February 10, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leganes11001013
2Valencia11001013
3Athletic Bilbao00000000
4Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Barcelona00000000
6Celta Vigo00000000
7Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
8EibarEibar00000000
9Espanyol00000000
10Getafe00000000
11GironaGirona00000000
12Levante00000000
13Malaga00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Villarreal00000000
19AlavesAlaves100101-10
20Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10