|Messi and Suarez celebrate goal vs Atletico Madrid|
FC Barcelona have put one foot in the final of the 2016/2017 Copa del Rey tournament after they impressively beat Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon to go into the second with a huge advantage that sees them just 90 minutes away from reaching a 4th consecutive Spanish Cup final.
First half goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez was enough to give Barcelona the important win as Antoine Griezmann’s second half strike wasn’t enough to get a result for the visitors.
Barcelona came into the game missing key midfielders Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta through injuries and Luis Enrique started Mascherano as a pivot with Rakitic and Gomes ahead of him. Barcelona didn’t waste time to get the opener after Javier Mascherano did well to intercept a ball that met Luis Suarez who made a blistering run from the half way line to beat all his markers before slotting past Moya after just seven minutes.
Atléti fought for the equaliser but couldn’t get a real chance to convert. Moya then denied Neymar later on before Lionel Messi made it 2-0 for the visitors after 33 minutes with a cracking goal as the Argentine fired in a powerful shot from 25 yards to beat Atléti goalkeeper who had no chance.
Barça had a couple of half chances to add to their tally but couldn’t convert. And 15 minutes into the second half, Atléti pulled one back after Antoine Griezmann headed home a cross from a free kick. Moments later, the French striker came very close to getting the equaliser but Jasper Cillessen was in a good position to make a crucial save that denied him from 6 yards.
Atléti kept on pressing, putting Barça on the edge but it was the Catalans who came the closest after Messi rattled the woodwork from a free kick and Neymar missed a glorious chance.
The hosts did not relent, substitute Fernando Torres came close to scoring on numerous occasions while Kevin Gameiro also had a good chance but Barcelona held on to get the all important away win.