The Bernabeu Will Decide

Written by Jesus Manriquez, Digital Executive Editor

The Santiago Bernabeu will decide who advances to the Copa Del Rey final after Barcelona and Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw in the first leg held in Barcelona’s Camp Nou.

Barcelona will have to go out to the Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain looking for a win after drawing at home against a Real Madrid side that could have put the game to sleep in the first half.

Los Blancos Start Strong

Real Madrid began the first half pressuring Barcelona high up the field. Allowing them to recover the ball in a good attacking position.

Los Blancos took an early lead after a Karim Benzema pass into the small box and a great finish by Lucas Vasquez gave Real Madrid the lead in the 5th minute.

Real Madrid’s 18-year-old forward Vinicius Junior could have covered himself in glory in his first Clasico appearance but two clear missed opportunities left Barcelona alive in the game.

Barcelona Find a Break

It took Barcelona 30 minutes to get their heads into the game. Their first clear chance came in from the head of Rakitic who sent his header to the crossbar. Not long after, an incredible save form goalkeeper Keylor Navas prevented Luis Suarez from scoring for Barcelona.

The second half began with a stronger Barcelona side that continued to look to tie things up. They managed to take the ball away from Real Madrid, and push them into their own defensive third. Finally, on the 57th minute, after a Suarez shot to the post, winger Malcom got the rebound and placed it first post and leveled things up.

Lionel Messi, who started on the bench because of a possible injury , finally came into the pitch in the 63rd minute. For a small period of time it seemed like Barcelona wanted to win the game through the feet of Lionel Messi. The Blaugranas had a couple of opportunities to take the lead but their momentum quickly faded away.

Neither team wanted to risk too much, and seemed to be satisfied with the draw. The last 10 minutes of the game were played in the midfield with no dangerous chances for either team, ending the game in a draw.

The second leg of the semifinal will be played at Madrid’s Bernabeu on Wednesday, Feb. 27, three days before they have to face each other in La Liga. For the second leg, Barcelona will be able to count with a fully-fit Messi as well with a recovered Ousmane Dembele who had been out with an injury. It will be an early Copa Del Rey final for both teams at the Santiago Bernabeu.