FC Barcelona took a big step towards the Copa del Rey final with a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the semifinals. While a win was within reach, this result still leaves everything in Barca’s hands for the second leg at Camp Nou.
Here are the ratings for today’s match:
José Manuel Pinto – 7.5
Made a few quality saves, especially in the first half, and could do little to prevent Varane’s goal.
Jordi Alba – 7
Had a solid performance on both ends of the pitch, but missed two very good chances to score, especially one in the first half after a pinpoint Messi pass.
Carles Puyol – 8
Made a lot of key interceptions and led the backline with his usual composure and authority.
Gerard Piqué – 7.5
Was very solid as well despite and early booking and made an absolutely crucial interception to deny Ronaldo the equalizer.
Daniel Alves – 7.5
Very good on both ends of the pitch, in a performance capped off by a crucial interception that might have avoided a Ronaldo goal.
Sergio Busquets – 8
Broke up play several times with great efficiency as usual and was an integral part of the team’s passing triangles going forward.
Xavi Hernandez – 8
Set the pace of the match as he usually does, showing perfect passing and movement. Was unlucky not to have scored as his freekick hit the crossbar in the first half.
Cesc Fabregas – 8.5
Wreaked havoc all match long with his runs, which the Real Madrid defense were never able to pick up. Scored the opener with a cool finish following one of those runs.
Andrés Iniesta – 9
The best player on the pitch today, constantly gliding through the Real Madrid defense and creating space for his teammates with his otherworldly technique. A class apart.
Pedro Rodriguez – 7
Was a bit overshadowed by his attacking teammates, but did impeccable work off the ball as usual. Missed an absolutely glorious chance to put Barca 2-0 up.
Lionel Messi – 7.5
Not his usual influential and dominating self, but still a very good performance, capped off with an assist for Fabregas’s goal.
Alexis Sanchez and Thiago Alcantara both came in too late to make a big impact on the match.
Image: Manel Montilla – MD