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Marcador del partit

  • Date: Wednesday, 31 Jan
  • Competition: ???label.competicio2???
  • Stadium: Camp Nou, Barcelona


  • FC Barcelona: 0
  • Zaragoza: 1

Match report

Match Report

The goal

0-1, Diogo (77')

Decider in La Romareda (0-1)

FC Barcelona were beaten 0-1 by Real Zaragoza in the opening leg of the Copa Del Rey quarter finals in Camp Nou on Wednesday evening thanks to a second half goal from Carlos Diogo. The tie will now be settled in la Romareda.

It is only half-time in the two-egged encounter and Barça now have another 90 minutes to ensure that they progress to the semis. That is the positive way of looking at the opening match, which saw Frank Rijkaard's side dominate but without the usual depth. Zaragoza, who proved to be difficult opponents in the competition once again, managed to contain the home side's attacks and, in a counter-attack, score the only goal of the game, which gives them an advantage going into the next leg. It is the first time that Barça have lost at home since February 6, 2006.

Pressure and possession

The two teams began the encounter weighing each other and probing to see how the game was going to pan out. With Zaragoza making it obvious that were going to stay compact, Barcelona attempted to build through the middle with Ronaldinho and Deco looking lively. The visitors were unable to enjoy long spells of possession themselves, Rijkaard's plan to put them under intense pressure worked well. Xavi registered the Blaugana's opening shot of the night after 20 minutes, while Gianluca Zambrotta impressed down the flanks as he linked up with the attack.

Post mark

On the half-hour mark, Javier Saviola fed Andrés Iniesta and the midfielder was presented with his team's best chance of hte night, only to be denied by César in a one-on-one situation. Barça stuck to their guns and produced some fine football with their triangular passing, but it was not enough to provide that crucial breakthrough. Óscar went close for Zaragoza, before Sergio García hammered a shot against the post as he almost put Zaragoza ahead against the club where he came through the youth ranks.

Breaking up play

After the break, the game was broken up by a series of fouls in midfield by Zaragoza. The plan worked as Barça failed to reproduce the same attacking verve that they had in the opening period. Rijkaard looked to change things about as Ludovic Giuly came on for Edmilson with Iniesta moving into the centre of midfield. The entry of the Frenchman produced the desired effect as his pace down the right wing gave the home team more width and more ammunition as he produced some dangerous crosses.

Diogo nets the winner

Just when thoughts began to surface that the game would end goalless, Zaragoza won a corner in the 77th minute and Diogo edged forward to head home the only goal of the match. The Uruguayan defender was returning from a five-match ban and he edged past Oleguer to connect with the ball and surprise Albert Jorquera in the Barça goal. Eidur Gudjohnsen entered the fray as Rijkaard looked to draw level, but Zaragoza tightened their defence even further and prevented their opponents from creating anything of note in the closing minutes. The 0-1 score-line ensures that the second leg will decide who goes through to the semi finals.



Duel of the cup kings

After progressing to the quarter finals of the Copa Del Rey at the expense of lower division clubs, FC Barcelona take on Real Zaragoza on Wednesday evening in the first leg of the glamorous tie in Camp Nou.

Having beaten Badalona and Alavés, Frank Rijkaard's side now face their toughest test yet against the best club in the competition over the past five years. Since the year 2000, Zaragoza have won the cup twice and reached the final last term. It is nine years since Barça last lifted the trophy, despite having won it a record 24 times during their history. This clash between the Blaugrana and the Aragónese outfit (22:00 (CET) - Barça TV) promises to be a thrilling encounter between two of the most attacking sides in the league.

Aimar out injured: Zaragoza's Argentinian playmaker Pablo Aimar is absent with a knock, while former Barça midfielder Albert Celades, Luis Cuartero and César Jiménez are also out. Rijkaard highlighted Aimar's unavailability in a pre-match press conference, stating that he would be missed by Luis Fernández's side. The former Valencia star will miss out on playing against his ex-River Plate colleague Javier Saviola, who is currently enjoying a golden strak in the Barça team. Another former River player will be on show, however, as Andrés D'Alessandro will line up against his friend Saviola.

Goal machine: Saviola is in exceptional form for the Blaugrana as he has netted five goals in the previous round against Alavés as well as notching further striker in the last two league encounters against Gimnàstic de Tarragona and Celta Vigo. After starting the game against Nàstic in the initial team, Saviola has been named in the first eleven for three consecutive matches, as he also began the matches against Real Betis and Celta.

The presence of Saviola should give the team a lift, not just because of his superb current run of scoring that has seen him net eight goals in eight matches, but also because of his strong record against Real Zaragoza. When playing against the Aragón outfit, el Pibito (the Rabbit), as he is known, has scored six goals in nine games. That record of scoring a goal in six games, means that he has only failed to score in three and clearly indicates that he enjoys playing against them.

Rodríguez Santiago Returns: The referee for the game will be Julián Rodríguez Santiago, who also officiated the Copa Del Rey game between the two sides last season. On February 1, 2006, the ref sent Ronaldinho off, but Rijkaard stated that he has every confidence in the matchday official ahead of this season's encounter. Deco also stated that he sees no reason why the referee should have any great influence on the game, despite his actions last time out.  

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