International

Barcelona edge Valencia in Copa del Rey semis

2018-02-02 07:55
Luis Suarez.(Getty Images)

Madrid - Luis Suarez headed in the only goal as defending champions Barcelona edged Valencia 1-0 in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at a half-full Camp Nou on Thursday.

Barcelona, the record 29-time winners of the tournament, are attempting to become the first team to lift the cup four years in a row since Athletic Bilbao in the 1930s.

But they were forced to labour against a Valencia team missing a trio of key players - Goncalo Guedes, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Ezequiel Garay - through injury.

Barcelona dominated possession but had to wait until the 67th minute for the breakthrough.

Not surprisingly, Lionel Messi was the man who unlocked the Valencia defence before setting up Suarez.

The Argentine danced his way into the penalty area before a deft left-footed chip left three defenders out of position and allowed Suarez to score from the edge of six-yard box with a diving header.

Thursday's tight affair was dramatically different to the last time these two teams met at the same stage two years ago - Barcelona won 8-1 on aggregate following a 7-0 win in the first leg.

In Wednesday's first semi-final, little Leganes, who stunned mighty Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, battled back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Sevilla in the opening leg.

Colombian international Luis Muriel gave Sevilla the lead after 21 minutes, scoring with the aid of a deflection off the post.

But Leganes levelled on the night when Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico blundered trying to keep out a header from Greek defender Dimitrios Siovas.

Leganes, who were playing in the third division five years ago and are in the Copa del Rey semi-finals for the first time in their 90-year history, remain the outsiders against Sevilla, at least on financial terms.

Their annual budget of €45 million is four times less than that of Sevilla.

Read more on:    barcelona  |  copa del rey  |  luis suarez  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

How far will Bafana Bafana progress in this year’s AFCON tournament?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.