We’re done with the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi finals and as it stands the aggregate score is 1-1 between the two sides with Madrid holding the away goal advantage. Barca chose to rest Messi for the game, however he had to come on in the second half to seize the control of the possession in the remaining half hour. Madrid scored the first goal in the very beginning at the 6th minute mark to get the vital away goal and lead the game. They pressed Barca with high intensity and were dangerous in the entire first half.
But in the second half Malcom’s equalizer made the scores level. After Messi’s substitution, Barca had more control (as an obvious consequence) but they could not better the scoreline. Now lets take a look at the main talking points of the match.
Malcom Deserves Enonrmous Praise
He was Ernesto Valverde’s joker in the starting line up as the gaffer put him surprisingly in such a big match after a long spell of bench warming. He wasn’t given enough playtime and suddenly thrown in as a starter, that too in a Clasico. But he handled the pressure very well. Malcom along with Semedo formed the heart and soul of Barcelona’s attack as they combined well to create chances through the flank. He worked hard and was the main man of Barcelona in the first half and later he received his fruit.
Vinicius Jr Has Great Potential
The Brazilian was wreaking havoc in the left wing with his marauding runs. He used his pace effectively to find his way around the defenders. He was the one who essentially created Madrid’s only goal of the match. However in the second half he was subdued but his performance was not an ordinary on for an 18 year old.
Pique Has Regained His Form
Gerard Pique did not start his season in a great way and drew a lot of criticism from the fans too. But now after displaying solid shows regularly we can safely say he’s back to being his former self. He made important tackles, clearances and a goal saving block and all of it speaks for the kind of standard he maintains.
Coutinho Is Still Struggling
After the match against Sevilla we thought his brace would give him confidence and he’ll be able to carry it forward in the coming matches. But he’s been proved totally ineffective in both the last matches. It is expected from him to be the creator of goals but all his efforts are turning out to be futile. A few more performances like the ones he’s delivering lately will force Valverde to take him off the starting line up and start experimenting with Malcom.