Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 7:59 AM on Saturday 26 July

/ Front page / Sport

Ronaldo double sinks Barca to reach Copa del Rey final

Afp
Thursday, February 28, 2013

BARCELONA - Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fine goal scoring record at the Nou Camp with a brace as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 to go through to the final of the Copa del Rey 4-2 on aggregate.

The Portuguese hit a first half penalty and then knocked in a rebound after the break as Real took full advantage of their counter-attacks.

Raphael Varane headed the third after 68 minutes while Jordi Alba got a late consolation.

Real Madrid will now take on the winners of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid who play on Wednesday.

Ronaldo has now scored in his last six visits to the Catalan capital and came out on top in his personal battle with Lionel Messi, who was largely anonymous in the game. The Argentine, however, has the chance to respond when the pair meet again in the league at the weekend.

There were no surprises in the Barcelona lineup with Andres Iniesta preferred in attack to David Villa which allowed space for Cesc Fabregas in midfield.

Jose Mourinho chose Varane ahead of Pepe to partner Sergio Ramos in the heart of the Madrid defence while finally there was no space for the rejuvenated Kaka with Angel Di Maria starting on the right wing.

Barca began at a high-tempo with Iniesta firing wide from 20 yards and then Messi screwed an angled shot with his weaker right foot past the post from the edge of the six-yard box before two minutes were even on the clock.

Cesc had another effort which was comfortably blocked by keeper Diego Lopez before the visitors took the lead from a penalty.

Ronaldo knocked the ball around Gerard Pique inside the area and his former Manchester United teammate brought him down for a spot-kick which the Portuguese converted.

Barca were hoping for a penalty of their own moments later but the referee waved away appeals for a foul by Alvaro Arbeloa on Cesc.

Real were defending well while they continued to threaten through Ronaldo counter-attacks.

Barca did win a free-kick on the edge of the area for a foul by Arbeloa on Iniesta for which he was booked after 37 minutes and Messi's shot went a whisker past the post.

Barca attacked with renewed vigour after the break but it was Real who scored again after 57 minutes.

Di Maria skipped round Carles Puyol and 'keeper Victor Valdes could only parry his shot to Ronaldo who kept his composure to slot home.

The Catalan side looked stunned and lost their shape at the back as Real cut them apart. Varane got their third as he outjumped the Barca defence at a corner to head in off the crossbar.

A minute from the end Barca did finally get on the scoresheet with Alba knocking in a ball over the top from Iniesta.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Illegal Fijians in Tonga
  2. Tafunai confident
  3. Step down, says FLP
  4. Farms infested
  5. Yams for security
  6. Medical assistance
  7. Impacts of climate change and NCDs
  8. Waibola action
  9. Dialysis centre
  10. Hope to woo music producers

Top Stories this Week

  1. Railway soldiers Monday (21 Jul)
  2. Playing 'enemy' Tuesday (22 Jul)
  3. No 'free education', says party Wednesday (23 Jul)
  4. 911 let-down for homeowner Monday (21 Jul)
  5. Police find tyres Monday (21 Jul)
  6. $24,000 payout a lifeline for family Tuesday (22 Jul)
  7. Calls for support Tuesday (22 Jul)
  8. $70m plan Wednesday (23 Jul)
  9. Warning for teachers Thursday (24 Jul)
  10. Illegal Fijians in Tonga Friday (25 Jul)