Barca Have The Last Laugh




Champions League

Champions League

The El Classico – Part II might not have lived up to its tag of being a classic but a riveting draw ensured a 3-1 aggregate which meant that Barcelona would  be the team travelling to Wembley on the 28th of May to play the Champions League final, the venue of their first European’s Champions Club triumph.

Andreas Iniesta, scorer of Spain’s winning goal in the World Cup final, returned from injury to start for Barca while Mourinho decided to field Kaka in the starting lineup for the big match ahead of Merut Ozil. Both sides started slowly as rain poured over Nou Camp and it took 22 minutes for the first chance at goal. Xavi’s wonderful corner was headed by Sergio Busquets but Iker Casillas, confident as ever, wasn’t troubled. Barca, enjoying a two goal advantage from the first leg, were playing free flowing football leaving the Madrid defence clueless. Messi ran through the defence in his characteristic style and forced Casillas come up with another save on 34 minutes. The Argentinean was on song as he dispossessed Diarra and released David Villa but Casillas ensured that Real stayed in the game with another brilliant save. The Spanish international was called into action yet again with a full stretched dive to keep out another Messi effort. A goal would have killed Real’s chances but it was their inspirational skipper in front of the goal who single handedly was combating the Catalan strike force as both the teams went into the break with the aggregate score still reading 2-0 in favour of Barcelona.

It took only nine minutes for the game to burst into life yet again. Iniesta carved a passed through a host of white shirts including Raul Albiol, Alonso and Diarra to pick out Pedro. The Spanish striker took a touch to steady and set himself up and another to put it into the back of the net past a helpless Casillas. Barca led 1-0 in the game and 3-0 on aggregate and Madrid’s hopes were dashed. But they showed no signs of it as they bounced back right away. Angel Di Maria found himself in space in the Catalan box and unleashed a fierce shot which rebounded of Victor Valdez’ post as Marcello followed it up to put the visitors level. But it was too little, too late as the Spanish champions held on to their two goal advantage as Real failed to breach their defences.

Barcelona’s wonderful night was capped off when Eric Abidal replaced Puyol in injury time, his first appearance since an operation to remove a liver tumor as Barcelona reached their third Champions League final in six years while Madrid were left licking their wounds after falling to their greatest rivals yet again!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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