Barcelona is through to the Copa del Rey final after eliminating rival Real Madrid in Wednesday's Clasico. In the semifinal second leg, with the first leg finishing 1-1, Barca went into the Santiago Bernabeu and scored all of its goals in the second half for a massive 3-0 victory, advancing 4-1 on aggregate. Luis Suarez scored twice, Raphael Varane had an own goal and Barca responded after a slow start gave Real every chance to grab the lead. Here are three takeaways from the match:
This was a blown chance by Real Madrid
Real really blew this one. They entered as the underdog, but the first half was sharp except in front of goal. Real clearly outplayed Barcelona in the first half and could have gone into the break up 3-0, and, at worst, it should have been 1-0. Los Blancos created numerous chances yet couldn't finish, with Vinicius Junior missing a couple golden chances. There were shots that went high and wide, Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a few really fantastic saves, and Real was left frustrated in a game it thought it could win based on the start.
Barca hangs on then bounces back in big way
In the first half, Barca did next to nothing in attack. It was hard to even notice some of the the stars were playing because Real Madrid was causing them a lot of trouble, especially down the left side. For the entire first half, it always felt like Real would score first, but that's why you've got to take your chances against Barca. But it wasn't mean to be, and then when Barca found the pedal, it didn't let up. Going mainly down the left, with Dani Carvajal up the field for Real, Barca scored three goals in 24 minutes.
Here's the winner from Suarez.
Suarez also scored a "Panenka" penalty to seal it.
The next big thing after Ronaldo at Real is Vinicius
Look, Real isn't the same without Cristiano Ronaldo and they probably aren't going to win a trophy this season. This was the team's best chance by far. But boy do they have something in Vinicius. The young Brazilian could one day perhaps reach the level of a Ronaldo based on what we've seen early. He's got unbelievable speed and footwork, he has a fine understanding of positioning and the flair that captures the hearts of fans. Outside of Kylian Mbappe, he may just be the most exciting young player in the world.
He's got room to grow for sure and he'll need to develop his finishing, especially when running diagonally across the box. But he has Balon d'Or winner written all over him, giving Real Madrid a bunch of hope for the future.
Copa del Rey final
Barca meets Real again in La Liga play on Saturday, and Messi's squad moves on to the May 25 Copa del Rey final (both available streaming on fuboTV) where they will face either Valencia or Real Betis. The two meet on Thursday in the second leg. Valencia went to Betis and got a come-from-behind 2-2 draw in the first leg.
Relive El Clasico
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