Jan 25, 2013

Barca - 4, Malaga - 2

  • FC Barcelona win the Copa Delr Rey QF with Malaga with an aggregate scoreline of 6-4.
  • Barca will be facing Real Madrid in the semi-fianl of the competition.

FC Barcelona booked their place in this season's Copa Del Rey semi-final with a hard fought 4-2 victory against Malaga away from home. Courtesy of the 2-2 draw in the home leg, we had to win and we surely did that with a aggregate score of 6-4. We now face Real Madrid in the semi-final, the first leg of the final will be held next week at the Santiago Bernebeu. That match could be one to savor as it's been sometime we had a Clasico and we do play the second leg at home, which gives us a huge advantage. In a tricky match we went ahead early with Pedro scoring from a header. But Malaga equalised immediately. Pique put us ahead once again in the start of second half, but we still managed to lose that lead also. But goals from iniesta and Messi made sure that there were no more hiccups and we will not remain without a win for three match in a row. In a match we had to win Jordi Roura went with a starting line-up of Pinto, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Cesc, Iniesta, Pedro and Messi. Villa, Aexis, Thiago, Song, Puyol, Adrianoand Valdes made the bench.


The game started at very slow pace with us trying to dominate the possession and Malaga trying to hit us on counter. In the 8th minute Pedro put us 1-0 ahead when a brilliant Cesc Fabregas pass put Alves through on the right, Alves made no mistake finding Pedro in the middle and Pedro made none with his header. In the 12th minute Joaquin restored the parity with a brilliant attack on counter, Joaquin held off Pique and finished into the bottom corner of Pinto's goal. Ther pace of the game increased tremendously after the equaliser. We still had to take the initiative and Malaga was using that by organising some serious fast paced counter. In the 25th minute Messi stole the ball from Demichelis and went straight at goal, Kameni parried the shot to safety. In the 36th minute Inietsa shot hit the bar after a beautiful one-two with Messi setup Iniesta beautifully. In the 38th inute Pinto had to make a smart save to deny Malaga from taking the lead. The first half ended at 1-1 but there was enough indication of more goals from both sides.


In the 49th minute Pique put Barcelona 2-1 ahead when Iniesta surprisingly found him in the center of the pitch. Everyone was surprised to see a central defender so up on the pitch. That goal not only put us ahead in aggregate, but also cancelled the two away goals Malaga scored at Camp Nou. In the 55th minute Lionel Messi tried to curl the ball into the far corner from outside the box, but hit high. We were taking full control after the game, with easily dominating possession and hitting heavily on the counter. In the 68th minute Santa Cruz equalised on a rare break for Malaga with our defense completely shattered. It was a cheap goal to concede on the counter. In the 76th minute Iniesta made it 3-2 with a beautifully constructed move made possible by a beautiful turn and lay off by Cesc Fabregas. That goal changed the equation a lot as Malaga had to score twice now to go through. In the 80th minute Messi made sure the passage into semi-final with a well taken header from an Alves cross. In the 82nd minute Roura brought in Thiago giving Lionel Messi a rare break. In the 87th minute Alexis came in for Villa.


This was one hell of a tricky match. Pellegrini did take a leaf out of Real Socidad's tactic book for this match and almost brilliantly implemented the same. Malaga was brilliant in first half with us struggling to dominate the midfield. Xavi was being roughed up every time he got near the ball. But the team which came out of the break was a different Barca, we were more aggressive and controlling possession more. But there are enough worries for us. The two goal which we conceded was kind of soft. No other team would have allowed a shot on target from those chances. May be Valdes would have done better dealing with the first goal. But then everything went fine in the end so no one will be complaining.

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