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Barcelona Edge Into Copa del Rey Final For Fourth Consecutive Season

  • A solitary goal from Luis Suarez helped Barcelona reach the final of the Copa del Rey for a fourth consecutive season this evening, as Luis Enrique's men secured a 1-1 second-leg draw with Atletico Madrid in their semi-final clash at the Camp Nou.

Atletico began with remarkable intensity and they might have found a lead on the night inside the first 10 minutes, as Yannick Ferreira Carrasco cut inside from the flank before seeing his shot parried away by Jasper Cillessen.

Diego Simeone's charges continued to implement a high press and it almost paid dividends, this time as Koke made use of some slack defending to fire another effort straight at the Barcelona stopper.

Enrique's side were unable to get much of a foothold in the opening half, but they turned the contest on its head just before the break, when Suarez capitalised on a rebound from Lionel Messi's shot in order to prod into an empty net to make it 1-0 and 3-1 on aggregate.

Madrid were given a reprieve not long after half time when Sergi Roberto was sent off for a second yellow card, presenting the visitors with the chance to make their extra man count.

It appeared as though they might well have done so inside 60 minutes, only for the linesman to rule out a perfectly legitimate goal for offside, as Carrasco freed Griezmann to fire beyond a helpless Cillessen before being thwarted by the official's flag.

Heading into the final 20 minutes, Madrid's late surge to get back into the contest was halted by the dismissal of Carrasco, who picked up a second yellow for a late lunge on Arda Turan to seemingly prevent Atleti's Copa push at the vital hurdle.

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The away side could have established a thrilling finish as Gerard Pique was adjudged to have brought Kevin Gameiro inside the area, but the striker was unable to punish Barca after he saw his spot-kick hit the crossbar.

Proceedings were not over just yet, though, as Atleti continued to press for a route back into the contest and they found it through Gameiro with eight minutes to go, the striker this time making use of some standout industry from Griezmann to find a way through Cillessen.

In the end, however, the deficit proved to be too much – despite a late red card for Suarez following an elbow on Koke – as Barcelona marched into the final with a 3-2 aggregate win.

About News From Nigeria

Frederick Damasus is an IT Enthusiast and Network Administrator with keen interest for internet and social media marketing. He previously worked as Monitoring and Evaluation/IT Officer for CCDS on USAID/PIND/RTI LEAD Project. Currently he does systems and networking consultation, logo designs, blogs and content promotion.

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