2016/17 Spanish Copa del Rey, Semifinals
  • Antoine Griezmann (59')
  • Luis Suárez (7')
  • Lionel Messi (33')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Suarez, Messi super strikes give Barcelona leg up in Copa semi

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were both on target as Barcelona survived a fightback from Atletico Madrid to take control of the Copa del Rey semifinal with a 2-1 win.

Suarez and Messi scored in the first half as Barcelona dominated the early stages of the first leg, taking a two-goal lead into the break.

However a revitalised Atletico emerged after half-time, pulling a goal back through Antoine Griezmann and created enough chances to feel hard done by as they were forced to concede a one-goal advantage to Barca.

Already 10 points behind the race for the La Liga title and going into the game on the back of three consecutive draws, the Copa del Rey could present Diego Simeone's side with their best chance of silverware this season, but they will have to come from behind if they are to win a place in the final.

The day started with a fiery welcome for Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon, with the team bus greeted by a host of red flares and hordes of fans.

However Luis Enrique's side shrugged off the intimidating atmosphere, taking an early lead due to some individual brilliance from Suarez.

Javier Mascherano set the forward free inside the Atletico half, and the former Liverpool man ran at the defence, slipping the ball past Stefan Savic before racing onto it and tucking his shot under Miguel Moya.

Diego Godin could have levelled things in the eighth minute, but headed wide from a corner after finding himself free inside the area.

Savic was again exposed by the electric Barcelona front three as he was caught in possession by Neymar, but they were guilty of overplaying it as he exchanged passes with Suarez before a tame shot at the goalkeeper.

The lead was doubled shortly after the half-hour mark however, as Messi cut in onto his left foot before rifling an unstoppable shot across Moya into the top corner from 25 yards.

The home side were unable to make any serious chances before the break, but the introduction of Fernando Torres seemed to spark them into action.

A smart free-kick routine found Godin in the area, and he headed back across goal for Griezmann to nod in at the back post.

The French striker was then denied by a sprawling Jasper Cillessen, before Yannick Carrasco's acrobatic effort flew over.

Messi nearly added a third, but his spectacular free-kick was well-saved by Moya, before Neymar fired over.

Torres and Griezmann had late chances to grab the draw, but were unable to breach the goal once more as Barcelona secured a one-goal advantage to take to the Nou Camp.