Barcelona Wins Fiery "El Clasico" Over Madrid, Messi Gets Stomped On

It was the stomp heard around the world.

After Real Madrid was once again frustrated by Barcelona in a 2-1 loss, Madrid coach José Mourinho said Real defender Pepe could be disciplined for stomping on Lionel Messi's hand in the second half. Pepe has a history of aggressive play in the "clasico" series, including a red card in last season's Champions League semifinal.

"If it's intentional then it's punishable," Mourinho said.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney tweeted "Pepe. What an idiot."

"Unfortunately these are plays that are there but the referee didn't see," Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández said. "That was brutal."

Messi the Great

For all Mourinho's success, the Portuguese manager is finding it nearly impossible to beat Barcelona since taking over Real Madrid.

Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal scored rare goals to rally Barcelona to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal, the Catalans' second win in a month at Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona made it six wins in nine meetings against Mourinho's Madrid, with its lone victory coming in last season's cup final.

The Spanish, European and world champions, who trail Madrid by five points in La Liga, beat its rival for the ninth time in 13 games since Pep Guardiola took over as coach. Madrid's lone win during that stretch was in April's cup final.

"Sooner or later this has to end. There's no way you can continue such a streak in such an important (stadium)," Guardiola said after marking his 41st birthday with a fifth coaching victory at the Santiago Bernabeu. "While it's true we've dominated them that doesn't give us any advantage before the return leg."

Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid ahead in the 11th minute on a counterattack with his 27th goal of the season.

"We got to halftime without conceding and the result was in our favor," Casillas said. "But in the second half another set play hurt us. We've had problems with these."

Puyol tied it with a header off a corner kick in the 49th, his first goal since Oct. 16, 2010.

"What I didn't expect was that a team winning 1-0 should allow an equalizer through a set play. A team that wants to beat Barcelona cannot allow such a goal," Mourinho said. "The series is till open, but it's very difficult for us."

Abidal gave Barcelona control of the home-and-home, total-goals series in the 77th when he chested down a scooped pass from Messi, who played his 300th game for Barcelona. Receiving the ball inside the penalty area, Abidal flicked a left-footed shot under goalkeeper Casillas. It was just his second goal for Barcelona, his first since Jan. 5, 2011.

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The second leg is next Wednesday night at Barcelona, the ninth "clasico" between the rivals in nine months.

Ronaldo's goal, his fourth against Barcelona, came when he ran onto Pepe's long pass and struck a left-footed shot past goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto, who starts in cup matches instead of Victor Valdés.

In Wednesday's other quarterfinal, Fernando Llorente and Iker Muniain headed in goals to give Athletic Bilbao a 2-0 victory over Mallorca.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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