A tenacious Barcelona frustrated Real Madrid to secure a 1-0 win over their bitter rivals in an ill-tempered Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Thursday.
The visitors defended superbly after Real centre back Eder Militao scored an own goal in the first half, managing to overcome the loss of key players like Robert Lewandowski, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele who missed the game due to injuries.
Barca earned a much-needed win after arriving in the Spanish capital under pressure having been knocked out of the Europa League and losing at lowly Almeria to halt a seven-game winning streak in LaLiga.
“We would have liked to have the ball more, to control de game a little more but we fought hard and competed in a high level. They had the ball but didn’t create many chances. We got the advantage for the second leg and that’s really important,” Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets told TVE.
Real Madrid started better and dominated the first 15 minutes, but Barcelona started to turn things around as they took control the midfield and their defensive game plan worked brilliantly.