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Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona, 2017 Copa del Rey: Final Score 1-2, Barça at their clinical best, hold off Atleti fightback

A huge victory at the Calderon!

Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - Copa Del Rey Semi-final: First Leg Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Barcelona have one foot in the 2017 Copa del Rey final, as they turned in a fine performance to earn a 2-1 victory at the Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid. The two away goals hand the Blaugrana a commanding advantage ahead of the second-leg next week, as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both provided us with moments of magic to settle the game in the visitor’s favour.


Both sets of fans were expecting a tight two-legged affair, but Barça came out of the gates all guns blazing. Luis Suarez’ driving solo run tore the Atleti defense to shreds and the Uruguayan finished the one-on-one chance with aplomb to hand the Blaugrana an early lead.

Later in the half, Lionel Messi caught the hosts uncharacteristically off-guard as they granted him a yard of space on the edge of the area – and that was all he needed to rifle home Barcelona’s second goal of the evening. This was a clinical performance from Luis Enrique’s side, and with just a quarter of the semi-final done, it seemed like Barça had all but booked their place in the final.


Not so fast. Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid never back down and never give up, so it came as no surprise that they began to fight back in the second half. In vintage Atleti fashion, the fightback started with a set piece. Diego Godin won the initial header and Antoine Griezmann converted with the second effort to open the tie right back up again.

Moments later, Griezmann nearly scored an equaliser, but his point-blank effort was parried sensationally by Jasper Cillessen in what could turn out to be a pivotal save in this semi-final. Neymar picked up a harsh yellow to rule him out of the return leg next Tuesday and while Atleti pressed for the equaliser, the visitors held firm to escape with the win.

Atletico Madrid: Moya; Vrsaljko (Torres), Godin, Savic, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Saul (Gaitan); Juanfran, Koke; Griezmann, Carrasco (Gameiro)

Goal: Griezmann (59’)

Barcelona: Cillessen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Mascherano, Rakitic (Denis), Gomes (Rafinha); Messi, Suárez, Neymar

Goal: Suárez (7'), Messi (33’)

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