|Pepe red card|
At the end of the 1ºst half Barcelona midfielder Keita should have received a Red Card for a "tussle" he began with Madrid defender Arbeloa that turned into a sideline "brawl" that saw substitute Barça keeper Pinto get a Red Card. Again, bad mistake/error from referee Stark.
|Real Madrid - FC Barcelona|
The first 45 mins was tense, very tactical & totally even. In fact, Real Madrid had a golden chance to go ahead when Ronaldo fired a shot which Valdes fumbled & Ozil could not take advantage hitting Valdes. Madrid had more opportunities but the Barça defence & goalie managed to solve those situations.
Real Madrid played as in the Spanish Cup Final, allowing Barça the ball & going for the counter-attack. During the process there was the now habitual pushing & protesting between both sides & observably between Spanish National Team members.
|Marcelo with Villa|
The bad news for Real was the yellow card to Sergio Ramos which will force him to miss the next return 2º leg match at Camp Nou.
|Sergio Ramos will miss the return leg|
The second half saw Adebayor substitute Ozil to give Real Madrid a reference point up front. Things were going as scheduled until Pepe made a hard tackle on Alves who exaggerated things & managed to "convince" German referee Stark to pull out the Red Card. Unjust & totally unfair as the maximum if anything was a yellow card. The match changed completely & the referee - on purpose or unintentionally - influenced directly the nature & outcome of the match.
|Lionel Messi scored a double|
With Real Madrid down to 10 men, Barça put in Affelany to give speed & fresh legs down the wing & was rewarded when his cross found LIONEL MESSI in the 76th min to score for Barcelona. Then in the 89th min LIONEL MESSI did some runaway manoeuvring to take on the Real defence & brilliantly score his & Barça´s second.
The end result finished 0 - 2, & puts it totally uphill for Real Madrid for the 2º leg. FC Barcelona are now in the box seat & firm favourites to take the semi-final with the home ground advantage. Real Madrid Coach Mourinho once again ends up with 10 men on the field which is a coincidence or a very suspicious tendency. What is a reality, is the unfortunate intervention & direct effect of one of the many bad referees that UEFA controls. Perhaps Mr Platini should intervene to lift standards as it is a disgrace that Football of this high standard & level not be accompanied by equal standards in the referee area.
We now look forward for the return leg were Real Madrid will be forced to look for heroics & play attacking Football. Everything & anything is possible, but Barcelona tonight takes a giant leap forward for the Final at Wembley.