Copa del Rey: Barcelona and Real Madrid share the spoils in an epic first leg clash
Barcelona came from a goal behind to force a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in a Copa del Rey first leg semi-final at Nou Camp on Wednesday night.
Lucas Vazquez opened the scoring for the visitors early in the first half, before Malcom scored a wonderful goal to end the tie in a 1-1 draw.
Real Madrid had a confident start to the game, with Barcelona looking a touch nervy. Biggest cheer early in the game came when Alba intercepted Modric and Barca retrieved possession. First save of the night came from Ter Stegen following Kroos’ strike from a distance. It was a lovely play from Modric initially, sending Vinicius on his way down the left before the Brazilian found Kroos some 25 yards out.
The visitors took the lead in the 6th minute through Lucas Vazquez. A deep cross found Benzema beyond the back post and at the byline, he cut it back for Vazquez to steer it into the far corner and he tapped it in past Ter Stegen.
Suarez slipped it through for Malcon and he was one-on-one with Navas. The linesman let a tight call slide because of VAR but after the effort is saved he put his flag up. Replays showed he was on but the finish was left to be desired.
Off the post
Barcelona continued to search for an equalizer and came so close in the 33rd minute. Malcom’s cross found Rakitic of all people and he had a free header which kissed the crossbar.
Malcom picked out Suarez on the edge of the area, his effort was curling into the far corner but Navas dived to his right to parry it away for a corner.
In the second half, Barcelona took full control of the game. A total of 21 players were in Madrid’s half, with the hosts happy to play it around and wait for the opening.
After a series of knocks, Barcelona finally found the back of the net in the 57th minute through Malcom. Navas took his chance when rushing out to close down a long ball towards the far corner of his area. However, he could only chest it and Suarez ended up hitting the post from a narrow-angle. The ball then fell to Malcom, who squeezed his effort in. Ramos had put his arms out too, suggesting the effort was going out.
The second leg will be played on Feb. 27 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. Barcelona is the reigning champion of the tournament.