Barcelona Alone at the Top
While the Premier league is still a neck and neck competition, in Spain FC Barcelona is breaking records and absolutely dominating the Copa del Rey. Having won the trophy for the last four years, FC Barcelona has broken a record already this year by qualifying for the final six-years in a row.
One of the most knows rivalries in the Spanish soccer league, La Liga, is between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This semi-final match took place over two games. This is also the first year Real Madrid has not had Ronaldo playing for them since 2009. The matchup was already favored FC Barcelona to win. The first game was held at Barcelona’s home field, Camp Nou. However, even with the home field advantage Barcelona went down in the sixth minute and did not manage to tie the game up until the fifty-seventh minute. This was not what the home fans were expecting, and since this match would be played in two games the scoring is aggregated. This meant that FC Barcelona would be playing at Madrid with an even score line, and Madrid had the home field advantage.
Twenty-one days later the teams met again this time in Madrid. Due to the previous tie the winner at the end of this game would be the one that goes to the Copa del Rey final in May. The first half was quiet, a few shots on goal but both teams remained at an even score line going into the half. Coming out the second half Luis Suárez opened the game 5 minutes in with a goal. Madrid has a few very good shots on goal, and both teams made substitutions. In the minute following Madrid’s substitution Raphaël Varane went to intercept a crossing pass to Luis Suárez in front of the goal that resulted in an own goal, putting Madrid down by two goals. And less than five minutes later Luis Suárez scored again in the 73rd minute. Three goals down and less than twenty minutes to play in regulation time crushed Madrid’s hopes of winning. The rest of the game saw FC Barcelona hold a clean sheet ending the match with an aggregate score of 4-1, with a 3-0 shutout for the second leg.
While out of the Copa del Rey, Madrid still must play FC Barcelona in their next game of league play on Saturday. Currently FC Barcelona sits at the top of the table leading third place Real Madrid by 19 points and a 27 net goal differential. With such a significant loss recently to this team watch, for how Madrid is able to come out on Saturday and if they are able to make any changes to stop the Copa del Rey cup from happening again.