After two straight defeats, Barcelona returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on Friday. The occasion was the Copa del Rey semifinal, and Madrid will look to bounce back in the return match at Camp Nou.
Defender Eder Militao’s own goal was the only factor separating the two teams after the match, as Frank Kessy’s rebound hit the Brazilian and rolled into the net. Barcelona will be looking to show their best game, as they dominated in many components and were only saved thanks to excellent defense. After the match, Barcelona manager Javi Hernandez expressed his feelings and said that his team failed to make the right choice. I am satisfied with what we did and the way we defended. We minimized Madrid’s chances on their own court, where they usually create a lot of chances, he said.
It was a positive result, which I am happy about, but we still need to work on the ball. The plan was to have long possession of the ball and defend, but we couldn’t.
We usually have better possession of the ball, more accurate. Today we didn’t make good choices, we didn’t have patience with the ball, we didn’t win the physical battle in their half of the field, but there are other aspects of the game that I liked, he added.
There were also several sharp moments in the match, including a controversial yellow card to Vinicius Jr. in the first half. The Brazilian grappled with Frankie de Jong, blocked his head and then knocked the Dutchman to the ground. At first it seemed like the decision to give a yellow card to Vinicius was the right one, but on replay it turned out that the Brazilian was in trouble, as de Jong also pinned him down with his hands.
Here’s the video:
Munuera Montero perdonando una roja clara a Vinicius por agresión a Frenkie De Jong
Vamos a hablar de Negreira
— madridblaugrana (@madridblaugrana) March 2, 2023
Both sides will face each other in La Liga on March 20 at Camp Nou, Barcelona is first in the table with 59 points. Madrid are in second place with 52 points. Meanwhile, the Copa del Rey return match will take place on April 6.