Copa del Rey: Barca, Real Grab First-Leg Advantage
Barca taught minnowers Almeria some football in the first leg of the King’s Cup semi finals, while Real Madrid made Jose Mourinho a 1-0 win present against FC Sevilla. The Special One just turned 48.
Pep Guardiola’s side played as if they were at the training camp, not at the Nou Camp. FC Barcelona scored three goals within seven minutes. Messi opened the score early in the ninth minute with a superb slow finish under the keeper Esteban. David Villa doubled the lead two minutes later. Barca’s striker finishes a wonderful action home to deny Esteban and break Almerians’ hearts.
Messi would complete his double in the 16th minute. Andres Iniesta played the director, finding the Argentine in good position. 3-0 and the crowd started to cheer the favorites. Pedro brought the nightmare for the visitors in the 31st minute. Following a short individual effort, the striker finished home from inside the box.
4-0 was also the half time score. The second half saw the Spanish champions looking more relaxed. Keita had the last word. He replaced Xabi in the 74th minute and brought the fifth just two minutes from time. Messi plays the ‘servant’ and Keita the killer. Esteban was crying inside. Almeria’s midfielder Vargas was the only one to leave the field with a yellow card. It’s really been an unagitated game.
FC Sevilla 0 – 1 Real Madrid
Jose Mourinho was celebrating his 48th birthday-anniversary, while his team was running for a present. Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the match. The French forward initiated a one-two combination with Mesut Ozil on the edge of the field that ended with a wonderful dribbling inside the box and a splendid finish into the far post.
Unfortunately, the end of the game saw keeper Iker Casillas being hit in the head with an object. The game was a very tense one. Eight yellow cards (4-4) have been shown at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. Real grabbed a 1-0 victory, but they have to pay much attention even in the second leg.
Casillas looked pleased with the result: “This is a very good result for us. We scored a goal and kept a clean sheet. We also controlled the match and Sevilla didn’t give us much trouble, save for some set pieces. Nevertheless, we will have to watch out for them in the return leg because they are a very good team.”
He would also explain what happened at the end of the game: “A vandal threw a bottle of water that hit me. It’s a real shame that some stupid person can spoil the fun of, and cause problems to, a splendid crowd that fervently supported its team,” he said.
The second legs are to take place on February 2.11