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Feb 9, 2012

FC Barcelona booked their place in the Copa Del Rey final with a 2-0 victory against Valencia at Camp Nou. Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Xavi gave Barca a bit of nervous victory. Now the final will be against Atletic Bilbao, between the two most successful teams in the Copa Del Rey history. It will be kind of a re-match of the 2008-09 Copa Del rey final which we won, hopefully we this one also. Barcelona carried the advantage of the away goal into the match, but a scoreline of 1-1 was very difficult to defend. A victory was the only way we would go through and we exactly just did. Guardiola decided to start Alves from the bench once again like in the first leg. Pinto came back in goal. Pique, Puyol, Mascherano and Abidal formed the four man defense. Thiago, Xavi and Fabregas made the three man midfield. Cuenca, Messia and Sanchez made the front trio.

Valencia started the game in their usual fashion pressing us really well in the midfield. Without a holding midfielder we were struggling to keep possession and string a number of passes, something very unfamiliar for a Barca fan. In the Ghouli latched onto a through ball through the middle of the defense but could only shoot wide of the post. In the 16th minute Cesc Fabregas gave us the lead, I would say against the run of play with a neat finish, after latching onto a great pass from Messi. In the 27th minute Sanchez had a shot wide off the goal. From the time the goal came in, we were taking full control of the match. In the 31st minute Fabregas got hold off a bad pass from Valencia defense, but his shot was well saved by Diego Alves with his leg. He just had to beat the keeper there. In the 34th minute Xavi tested Alves with a shot from outside the box, but Alves stood tall. In the 37th minute Fabregs danced into the box and forced yet another brilliant save from Diego Alves. Going into the half, a 1-0 lead looked good. But there was no doubt that it was an extremely dangerous scoreline as one goal from Valencia could swing the match and tie in their favor.

In the 47th minute Jordi Alba got past Puyol and was one on one with Pinto, but Pinto did well to deny him. In the 54th minute a fabulous pass from Cuenca set up Messi, but his shot was deflected onto the post by Ruiz. In the 55th minute Messi got past four men into the box, but his brilliant toe-poke was saved by Diego Alves once again. In the 63rd minute Ruiz gave away the ball to Messi, who skipped past one defender but Diego Alves saved it again. In the 66th minute Xavi tried to chip a shot from outside the box over Alves, but it went a bit high. In the 73rd minute Pinto had to tip over a shot from Jonas from Valencia corner. In the 76th minute Ghouli got sent off after getting a second yellow card for a foul on Puyol. In the 81st minute finally Xavi finsihed off the tie with a brilliant finish. It was brilliant move. Sanchez held off a challenge on the left, passed the ball to Cesc in middle who brilliantly cushions it into Xavi, who was at the edge of the box. 2-0, the game looked pretty much over, Barca's two goals meant there won't be any chance of extra-time in this tie. In the 85th minute Messi forced a brilliant save from a Messi free kick. Guardiola brought Alves for Sanchez immediately. In the 89th minute Guardiola brought in Christian Tello for Cuenca. In the stoppage time Iniesta came in for Fabregas.

It's yet another final for Pep Gaurdiola and his boys. Even though we left it pretty late to finish off the tie, there was no doubt that we were the better team. Valencia had a couple of decent chances and that made up for a nervous night. Once again we wasted a number of good opportunities. But it's hard to blame the players as the Valencia goal keeper, Diego Alves was having a blast. He saved everything which he has to face, I amen almost everything. We were also a bit nervous in front of the goal maybe, we haven't been scoring too many goals recently. It's something with February, we always struggle a bit in February. The best part for us is that Iniesta is back from injury and soon we should Pedro also back. That means Guardiola could rest his major players a bit more. Now all the focus shift back to La Liga and Champions League.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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