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Jan 26, 2018

FC Barcelona secured the passage to Semi Final of 2017-18 Copa Del Rey Semi-Finals with a 2-0 victory over city rivals Espanyol at the Camp Nou. Luis Saurez and Lionel Messi both scored early in first half to help Barca over-turn the 1-0 deficit from first leg.

Lionel Messi scored the decisive goal which took Barca past Espanyol securing semi-final place in Copa Del Rey 2017-18

FC Barcelona have secured the semi-final spot in Copa Del Rey semi-finals with a 2-0 victory with an efficient performance at the Camp Nou over city rivals Espanyol. Any doubt of Barca's progress was put to rest when Luis Saurez scored early on the first half negating the opponents advantage from first leg. As I mentioned in the Barca vs Espanyol Preview, the early goal completely changed the tie to Barca's advantage and Lionel Messi's goal secured the victory and passage. Everyone expected Barca to seal the victory with at least one more goal but that wasn't to be and that made for a nervous ending when it was clear a goal from Espanyol means we will go out on away goals. But then our defense never gave a decent sniff to Espanyol's offense even though our forwards were wasting chances after chances.

Real Madrid are a great rival, but if we are in the semi-final it is because we have worked hard to be here. In these cup games you can't have a bad day, otherwise you will be out of the competition. I don't stop to think about the other teams though.Ernesto Valverde

FC Barcelona took full control of tie from Begining

The starting eleven for the match had Cillessen, Roberto, Umtiti, Pique, Alba, Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Saurez and Messi.
As expected Barca were first off the block and started to take control of the match. We were rewarded in the 9th minute when Luis Saurez met an excellent cross from Aleix Vidal to cancel Espanyol's one goal advantage from first leg. That means we were more relaxed even though the risk of away goal always hanged over our head. Espanyol had a decent chance soon after our first goal but it was struck straight at Cillessen. Apart from that Espanyol had not much of a chance in the entire first half.

In contrast Barca had a number of decent chances and some very open ones also. But we were missing one after other. The only difference in outcome came in the 25th minute when Messi scored a bit of crappy goal. The moves started with Messi itself when Busquets played a wonderful over the defense ball releasing Messi on right; to everyone's surprise Messi lost the ball to defender but gathered the rebound and unleashed a shot which took a wicked deflection of defender wrong footing keeper and ending up in goal. There was enough chances after that to make the game 3-0 or may be 4-0 but we were pretty poor with our finishes.

FC Barcelona struggles to increase lead against Espanyol

Philippe Coutinho replaces Andres Iniesta to make his Barca debut

Barca was taking full control of the match in the second half but the third goal wasn't coming. Messi struck the post twice in second half and he has almost hit the post as much as he scored now this season. It wasn't only Messi who was missing chances, Luis saurez missed some chances in front of an open goal; mostly because of excellent goal keeping by Pau López. In the second half Valverde gave Coutinho his Barca debut when he replaced Iniesta and immediately started showcasing his talent. It would be quite memorable to see both Iniesta and Coutinho playing together in midfield.

In the end despite wasting a tons of chances we made it through. We are still very much alive and fighting in all three competitions whereas our great rivals are out of two now. We are still yet to hit top form after winter break but still we are playing efficiently.

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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