Atlético Madrid came within touching distance of the Copa deal Rey final at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, but ultimately came up short in a controversial encounter.
Kevin Gameiro’s goal was only enough to secure a 1-1 draw on the night, after he had earlier missed a penalty and compatriot Antoine Griezmann had a goal wrongly chalked out for offside.
Sergei Roberto, Yannick Carrasco and Luis Suárez were also sent off in a topsy turvy match.
Barcelona entered the final of the Copa del Rey after what seemed like a very intriguing contest between the two Spanish sides.
The Catalans were forced on the defensive right from the get go with Atlético dominating the possession and shots in the first half until Barcelona attacked on the break and Luis Suarez scoring from a rebound shot from Messi.
A match that perhaps had everything a football fan would’ve hoped for, high intensity drama, red cards, goals and penalty. Atleti were on the offensive right from the beginning of the second half as well, soon a fantastic display of teamwork had Antoine Griezmann score a beauty only to be wrongly disallowed as offside.
This came just after Sergi Roberto’s second yellow leading to his departure. The Catalans were now down to ten men against an Atlético Madrid side which were resilient and resolved to win against all odds but had a mountain to climb being down on aggregate.
Yannick Carrasco was sent off after he was shown the second yellow card for a foul on Arda Turan who had the ball before Carrasco got to it. Barça looked firmly in the driving seat as ten minutes later, Lionel Messi’s free kick, which was a screamer from a distance hit off the bar of Moyà’s goal.
On the 80th minute, Pique was called for a foul for tripping Kevin Gamiero and this made way for a penalty at a crucial stage in the match. However, Cillesen – the ever so confident Holland ‘keeper made sure Gamiero didn’t find the back of the net as he hit it over the bar.
Three minutes later a lovely ball from Koke had Antoine Griezmann in position who squared the ball for Gameiro to score a late goal to ensure Atleti stayed in the match right till the end.
Barcelona were holding on till added time, when Suárez made a clumsy challenge to get a red and miss the final. It was too little too late though, as Barcelona went through on aggregate (3-2) over an Atlético Madrid side who’s only hope seemed to be the Copa del Rey.
However, the red and whites can be proud of their performance over the two legs and take encouragement into the Champions League which gets back underway in a few weeks.
Player ratings: Moyà 6, Juanfran 6, Godín 7, Savic 6, Filipe 6, Koke 7 (MOTM), Saúl 6, Carrasco 5, Gaitán 6, Griezmann 7, Torres 6. Subs: Correa 6, Lucas 6, Gameiro 6