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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona

Barcelona turn score around after Whites take lead through Cristiano Ronaldo, forcing Mourinho's men to look for a comeback at the Camp Nou

Fernando Porrero / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell

Real Madrid never give up; it's in their DNA and history. That's why Mourinho's men will look for a comeback at the Camp Nou next Wednesday. The Whites are only one goal behind and will look to turn the aggregate around to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals. Jose Mourinho used a surprising starting eleven that included Altintop and Carvalho. Real Madrid gave a great performance in the first half and scored the opener through Cristiano Ronaldo, regarding whom all doubts should be dispelled. The visitors were more effective after half-time and turned the score around. Benzema had a chance to net an equaliser but sent the ball to the post after defeating Pinto.
Real Madrid knew exactly what to do from the start: playing together and looking to surprise Barcelona with long passes capitalising on the speed of Ronaldo and Benzema. It didn't matter that Guardiola's men kept possession as long as they didn't prove dangerous up front. Benzema served Ronaldo a long assist in the 11th minute and the striker defeated Pinto with a great shot. Two ensuing saves by Casillas avoided Barçá from drawing the encounter before half-time.

Puyol headed in a corner-kick at the start of the second half (48'), which greatly hurt the Whites and forced them to try for a comeback. Altintop served a great cross on the 57-minute mark that Benzema unluckily headed towards a post when Pinto would have been unable to clear the ball. Mourinho made Ozil and Callejon come on for Higuain and Lass looking for a reaction, more possession and a deeper attack.

Real Madrid moved their lines forward looking for another strike, leaving more spaces for Barcelona to counterattack in. Abidal eventually scored the winner after receiving a pass into the box from Messi (76') and things looked increasingly harder for Real, who constantly searched for an equaliser. These great efforts exhausted the players, but the Bernabeu continued to spur them on until the final whistle.

Real must now focus on La Liga, in which they top the table with a five-point cushion over Barça. They will face Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Sunday and will search for three points to seal the first leg with a comfortable lead. They will face Barça in the return leg of the Copa on Wednesday. No one should think they will toss the trophy aside: that's not what the team's history and philosophy are all about. Mourinho's men will look to reach the semis in Barcelona; the defending champs are not about to let go easily of the trophy.

Real Madrid

  • 1I. CasillasGoalkeeper
  • 16H. Altintop
  • 2R. CarvalhoYellow Card
  • 4S. Ramos
  • 15Fábio CoentrãoYellow Card
  • 14X. Alonso
  • 3PepeYellow CardSubstitution Off
  • 24Lass DiarraSubstitution Off
  • 9K. Benzema
  • 20G. HiguaínSubstitution Off
  • 7C. RonaldoGoal


  • 10M. ÖzilSubstitution On
  • 11E. GraneroSubstitution On
  • 21J. CallejónYellow CardSubstitution On
  • 12Marcelo
  • 13A. Adán
  • 8Kaká
  • 18R. Albiol

José Mourinho


  • 13PintoGoalkeeper
  • 2Dani Alves
  • 3G. PiquéYellow Card
  • 5C. PuyolGoalYellow Card
  • 22E. AbidalGoal
  • 6XaviSubstitution Off
  • 16S. BusquetsYellow Card
  • 4F. FábregasSubstitution Off
  • 9A. SánchezSubstitution Off
  • 10L. Messi
  • 8A. Iniesta


  • 1V. Valdés
  • 11Thiago AlcántaraSubstitution On
  • 21AdrianoSubstitution On
  • 30Sergi Roberto
  • 39Isaac CuencaSubstitution On
  • 14J. Mascherano
  • 28J. dos Santos

Josep Guardiola

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