Sweet revenge for Barca

2011-04-28 06:45

Madrid - Argentina's two-time world player of the year Lionel Messi scored a superb late brace as Barcelona gained the upper hand in their Champions League semi final with a 2-0 first leg win over arch rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Real were down to ten men after Pepe had been sent off on the hour mark and Barca made the extra man count with Messi converting an Ibrahim Afellay cross on 76 minutes and then scored a mesmerising goal on 86 minutes for his 11th Champions League goal of the season.

Messi has now scored on each of his last four visits to the Bernabeu and the late goals are a huge setback for Real coach Jose Mourinho, who was sent to the stands for protesting the dismissal of Pepe, and Madrid must now win well at Camp Nou in the second leg on May 3 if they are to reach their first final since 2002.

For Barcelona it was the perfect revenge after their Kings Cup loss a week ago and they will aim to finish the job at home and reach their first final since 2009 when they won the trophy as part of a historic treble.

Barcelona were unfortunate to lose Andres Iniesta to a calf injury so Mali midfielder Seydou Keita came in, but captain Carles Puyol was back after muscular problems and started in the problem left back position.

Real were without key defender Ricardo Carvalho through suspension so Raul Albiol deputised and Mourinho had to draft in French midfielder Lassana Diarra for the injured Sami Khedira.

A war of words had spiced up this red-hot fixture further with the usually calm Pep Guardiola hitting out at Mourinho and expressed his annoyance at being called 'Pep' by his Portuguese counterpart.

Barcelona, eight points above Real in the league, were still hurting from their Kings Cup final defeat and were allowed to dominate possession as Real sat deep in the third meeting between the two sides in just 12 days.

David Villa had the first sight on goal cutting inside before dispatching a shot just wide of the post in the 10th minute.

Jeers from home fans rung around the Bernabeu as Real followers were unhappy at Barcelona's control of the ball and the visitors almost scored in the 24th minute with Messi sliding in Xavi but Iker Casillas saved well with his legs.

On the stroke of half-time Madrid had their first chance with Ronaldo's fierce drive fumbled by Victor Valdes.

A row between Keita and Arbeloa continued as the players left the field and Barcelona's second choice goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto was sent off from the substitutes bench for losing his cool in a melee.

Early in the second half Messi had a half chance as Real were sleeping but his shot was blocked in the area.

Cristiano Ronaldo then caused problems at the other end with Puyol making up for his initial mistake with a fine block.

On the hour mark Real were reduced to ten men with Pepe red-carded for a late tackle on Alves and joins Sergio Ramos in missing the return clash at Camp Nou.

Pepe lunged at Alves and was shocked not to see a yellow, as was Mourinho, who was sent to the stands for vehemently protesting.

Barcelona tried to capitalise on their extra man with Villa forcing a fingertip save from Casillas on 68 minutes.

Then on 76 minutes substitute Afellay crossed and Messi converted with a volley at the near post.

It was the first goal Real had conceded at home in the Champions League this season, but the second arrived ten minutes later with Messi running from deep at speed, evading two challenges before sliding a right-footed shot past Casillas.

It leaves Madrid with a mountain to climb against their arch rivals who have two crucial away goals and have already crushed Madrid 5-0 at home in the league this season.


  • Paul - 2011-04-28 07:45

    Barca or Real....Man utd is waiting for you... would have loved to play against Real but looks like messi will beat bring it on!!!!!!! Fergie is ready for them this time around

      Brownskin - 2011-04-28 07:57

      dream on paul the octopas

      steve - 2011-04-28 08:01

      Be careful of what you wish for Paul , Barca give Man United a good thumping !!

      mafilo - 2011-04-28 09:22

      man united for uefa champions...i agree with you Paul, the red devils are ready for any of the two teams...

      tendanic - 2011-04-28 11:41

      U see now, Man United are a mixture of strong defence and strong attacking side. Thats what i would have expected to see Real do. But they chose to go and park a mountain at their goal posts and chill. The result will mostly favour those who make an effort to win........

  • eddyb - 2011-04-28 07:46

    who can stop Messi ??

      Mnija - 2011-04-28 08:16

      Many ways illegally. Thats why we say he is the soccer god. Best player ever!

  • gees-hey - 2011-04-28 08:17

    the games should be listed as EL KAKKIKO not EL CLASSICO. Barca players should be fined for the pathetic acting & the Barca team penalised for everytime attacking refs when tackles are made on them. never have i seen such K* as a player or spectator since these matches take place. UEFA needs to stop focussing on Jose & start fining K* acting & intimidation of the refs

  • Sanity - 2011-04-28 08:33

    The barca players are all cheats and I hate the whole bunch. When things don't go their way they intimidate the referee & they ar expects in simulating cloan injury when a challenge is made. Soccer is a contact sport and it's not for sissies like barca players. Damn Villa, Alves 'the devil worshiper', and his cohort Pedro. Mxm...

      zulufox - 2011-04-28 08:42

      bad loser

      Sanity - 2011-04-28 09:02

      I support neither team by the way. Your reply is misplaced 'zulufox'...

      Paul - 2011-04-28 10:12

      and this is why i think Man u will kick the living hell out off them

      tendanic - 2011-04-28 11:31

      Include marcelo and de Maria in those simulations.........Nani from Man Utd as well.....then you will have to hate all soccer players. Go watch rugby dude!

  • crazyballs - 2011-04-28 09:05

    Messi have mercy... *Believe Dat*

  • ShabirS - 2011-04-28 09:42

    Pepe's redcard was harsh, good acting Alves and that is what changed the game

      tendanic - 2011-04-28 11:36

      Clearly you were watching a different game. The Messi act was just an individual effort, not a team effort. That kind of play could have come in anytime whether madrid had 10 or 11 men. You cannot simply say that messi started being able to take on 5 to 6 players on the defence of madrid because pepe madrid had 10 men. Thats a very loose argument, and you should hate yourself badly for saying that!!! All hail "Messi"......i dont care how madrid looks at it, but with their talent they should be advocating for good soccer than that rubbish Jose mentality of defensive with fire and you won't always get away with it.

  • Kubes - 2011-04-28 09:52

    Pathetic Result . Barca are CHEATS, Arsenal and Madrid were cheated. Van Persie and Pepe sent off for nothing and that changed the face of both games. Like in rugby, there should be a citing commission to investigate the pathetic behaviour of the Barca players last night. Where is the honour? And everyone going on about Messi`s goal, had Pepe been on that goal would never have surficed. Shocking!!!!!!!!

      Man U - 2011-04-28 11:24

      Kubes - For once i agree with you! What a lousy game of football by apparently the 2 best teams in the world as classified by the commentators! Barca are a bunch of cheats and fell to the ground for every little touch! In fact, that just sums up the pathetic state of Spanish football!

      Andre - 2011-04-28 13:30

      Ah, so what you're saying is that Real Madrid needed at least FIVE players to stop Messi's second goal, instead of the FOUR that couldn't? Face reality bud, Messi already went through four other Madrid players to score that goal, a fifth would have made no difference! That goal was a highlight in an otherwise poor game...

  • Chris Khumalo - 2011-04-28 10:22

    Barca will win the UEFA Champions league

      Micky - 2011-04-28 13:59

      dream on day dreamer utd wil win the final

  • Bosj - 2011-04-28 10:45

    El Classico is actually El Boringo. no class from the acting.No professionalism, just a bunch of overpaid brats. I refuse to pay to watch the crap they call first class soccer. I think the games between Man U and Schalke was way better and value for money.

      tendanic - 2011-04-28 14:30

      U mean that one way street? C'mon Joe, i am a man u fan but that game was an embarrassment for me......we created a dozen of chances in the first half but nothing to show for it. That game was just a pure luck on our side....and maybe borders along the story of David and Goliath.......only difference being that David failed to defeat goliath this time as normally expected.

      Funu Sedzo - 2011-04-28 16:12

      We know of rivalry, but yesterday's game takes the kudus. I wonder who was scriptwriter. It had everything that makes a thriller in manilla. Violence galore. Mesmerising goals. Unfair red card. Banishing of the coach to the stands. war of words. Cheaters. Wow, wow. I cant wait for the sequel I dont think you can recall other games with such verve.

  • Charl Norman - 2011-04-28 10:57

    Can't wait for Messi to destroy United - United beat helpless Schalke now they are 'ready for anything' LOL

      Aribs - 2011-04-28 12:35

      Can't wait for you to choke on those words....

  • Zakhele - 2011-04-28 11:34

    Listen to this one: I am a die heart supporter of Barcelona. Even my second last son is named Barcelona (during the days of big Franky revolution). All six of us watched the game with keen interest until PEPE was sent off. But what happened yesterday is beyond belief. I would love to see Barca make Real chase their shadows. Barca (Alves in particular and the fouth match official) and the referee cheated the watching world. Mourinho had everything under control until once again the referee and Barca players decided to use option B which is unfortunately not a good sporting practice. So, yes I wanted Barca in the final BUT NOT LIKE THIS! Ashamed and gutted. I really do feel for Mourinho-except for one thing and that is playing to defend in front of his home crowd. All two Real's red cards are absolute jokes. If I was EUFA I would be every ashamed of what happened yesterday. For the first time I agree with Mourinho and Real 100 %. It was nothing else but pure 'daylight' or should I say ('glittering night') robbery! I've got nothing more to say on this subject.

      tendanic - 2011-04-28 14:24

      I don't agree with you Zakhele. I am a Man U fan...and any of these teams mean not much for me except their great stature internationally. However, when i seat in my house and watch a game, i want to see briliance. I want to see form, not 11 players waiting to kick the ball away from their poles and hoping the other side will make a mistake. Let me impose it to you that if you were a referee you would have given more fouls on madrid than barcelona mearly because you can see what is happening in the game. Madrid's effort yesterday was to make barcelona not play, and in doing so they used a very hostile defensive tactic. When u defend too much, you should accept that a lot of decisions are gonna go against you, this is just purely normal. The referee sees that as well, i mean that he is giving so many fouls to the same team and they don't seem to stop. He has to enforce discipline in the pitch, and sometimes the decisions are rather too harsh(like pepe red card), but he has to retain control of the game. Pepe's red card for me was well deserved, not personally for him but for the entire Real Madrid who were playing a rather hostile defensive tactic. On the other hand, i do not approve of the silly dives and simulations that Barcelona players made, but if you are playing a hostile defence that is prepared to use hard and foul marking tactics u may as well use it to your advantages and get penalties and red cards. Madrid's plan was to play foul, and barca responded by diving.

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      Albo - 2011-04-28 16:22

      Malema is leader of the ANCYL. Does he know what he`s talking about??

  • Katlego - 2011-04-29 14:08

    sweet revenge indeed,fight fire with fire if they play rugby and kickboxing instead of football.....we act simple as that fire the special idoit he is ruining the game and is a sore loser!!!!

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