Real Madrid stuns Barca to reach Copa del Rey final

Published February 26, 2013

| Sports Network

Real Madrid defied the odds to reach the Copa del Rey final, earning a 3-1 victory over Barcelona at Camp Nou on Tuesday to advance with a 4-2 aggregate win.

Following a 1-1 draw in the opening leg at the Bernabeu, Barcelona looked to be a strong bet to proceed to the title match with an away goal and home-field advantage working in its favor for the return leg.

But Real Madrid was unquestionably the better team on the night as the Merengues cruised behind a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar helped get the visitors in front in the 13th minute when he drew a clear penalty under a challenge from Gerard Pique. Ronaldo stepped up to bury the ensuing kick to the right of goalkeeper Jose Pinto, who was deputizing for first-choice stopper Victor Valdes.

Real doubled its advantage on the night in the 57th minute when Angel Di Maria led a swift counterattack that Ronaldo finished with a calm take under a diving Pinto.

Raphael Varane made it three when he rose high to head a corner kick off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net in the 68th minute.

Barcelona pulled one back in the 89th minute when Andres Iniesta's inventive chip into the path of Jordi Alba was guided past Diego Lopez, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal for the Catalans.

Real Madrid awaits the winner of Wednesday's semifinal between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid to determine who Jose Mourinho's men will face in the final.

Barcelona will look to regroup in time for Saturday's rematch with Real Madrid as the two sides get set to meet again at the Bernabeu in La Liga play.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/02/26/real-madrid-stuns-barca-to-reach-copa-del-rey-final/