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FC Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid, Copa del Rey 2012 Match Recap: Unlucky Real Madrid Draws El Clasico

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 22:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 22, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 22: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 22, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
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Madrid got a 2-2 draw in the Camp Nou deserving a lot more. Higuaín earned the starter role and had the chance to score as soon as the game kicked off. Piqué was caught sleeping and missed Alves' pass, alowing the Argentinian to face Pinto. When Real Madrid players were almost celebrating what looked like an easy goal, Higuaín missed the shot badly.

Mourinho's decission to play Higuaín was smart since Barcelona was expected to keep the possession of the ball during most of the time. That being known, Higuaín is a better off-the ball player than Benzema, who needs to get a lot of touches to get into the rhythm of the game.

Unfortunately for Real Madrid, the Argentinian striker showed yet again that he is not at Benzema's level. They are very different and they can play together, and it's always important to have two different strikers in a roster, but in these big games Karim Benzema should be starting.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Özil had also good chances to score during the first half, but they were just not lucky enough to convert them.Higuaín also entered Barcelona's box after a missed pass from Pinto and shot the ball with his left foot when he had Xabi Alonso clear to push the ball inside the goal.

In a Real Madrid corner-kick Busquets clearly touched the ball with his hand inside the box, but the refferee didn't see it. Teixeira completed a very bad game, because he also missed a penalty from Pepe to Alexis and he could've send off Lass Diarra before halftime. He also didn't see a hand ball from Abidal after Sergio Ramos' acrobatic shot inside Barcelona's box.

While Real Madrid was missing all of their chances, Barcelona had a counter attack in the 43rd minute and scored their first goal in their first chance. Two minutes and when the game was already in the addition time, Dani Alves scored a golazo that sent Madrid to the locker room with a very bad feeling. The players knew they were playing better and they still found themselves losing 2-0.

Messi was placed in the right wing to face Coentrao, but the Portuguese defender completed a good game overall. It's true that he missed a tackle on Messi before Barcelona's first goal, but he showed defensive skills and might be considered for next Clasicos.

Lass had seen a yellow card early in the first half and Mourinho decided to introduce Granero to play on his spot. The Spanish midfielder might be profitable. In the worst possible scenario and in a very bad situation, Granero showed himself as a useful player. If Xabi Alonso keeps playing this bad and Nuri Sahin doesn't get a lot of chances, Granero could be Alonso's replacement.

Ramos scored Real Madrid's first goal off a set piece, but refferee Teixeira Vitienes disallowed it believing that the Spanish defender had fouled Dani Alves.

Benzema and Callejón entered the game at the same time in the 61st minute for Kaká and Higuaín, and seven minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo received a great pass from Mesut Özil and dribbled Pinto to score Real Madrid's first goal. Real Madrid still needed two goals to advance to the next round and Benzema took the first step with a world-class goal.

He flicked the ball over Puyol and placed the ball in the net to tie the game up. The comeback was possible and the team knew that, but Barcelona then started to keep the possession to prevent Mourinho's team from creating any more goal-scoring opportunities.

The refferee could've call a penalty when Puyol pushed Benzema before the French player could score Real Madrid's game-winning goal. Ramos was sent off after he hit Busquets with his elbow fighting for a ball that was in the air.

Real Madrid didn't really have any more chances and Barcelona earned their pass to the Copa del Rey Semis. Casillas, Granero and Arbeloa were very angry with the refferee because he did not add a single minute after the addition time was clearly not enough given Ramos' red card and Alexis' injury.

Although Real Madrid didn't get the win, this game surely backs Mourinho's project. Real Madrid is capable of beating Barcelona even in their own pitch. Now the team needs to concentrate on la Liga and the Champions League. Barcelona will play two more games than Mourinho's team during February due to the next round of this competition, so Real Madrid will try to take profit from that in la Liga if Barcelona loses some points.

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