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05.03.2009 13:45

The road to Mestalla

Anna Segura

Barça are into the final of the Copa del Rey thanks to an impeccable run in the tournament, in which they have won six and drawn two matches – the highlight being the 3-1 win at the Calderón.

Barça’s cup run began on October 28 against Benidorm. There was a long road ahead before they could celebrate their first final appearance in 11 years. Four months later, they had made it through four rounds and beaten three top flight teams, with some great performances like Messi’s at the Vicente Calderón. There can be no doubt that Josep Guardiola’s side fully deserves its place in the last two of the Copa del Rey.

Six wins and two draws

QM3D4330.jpgBenidorm, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Mallorca all fell by the wayside as Barça made solid progress, with six wins and two draws.

Only one lower league opponent

Barça started well against Division 2B outfit Benidorm, winning both legs 1-0. Into the last 32, they were dealt a tough draw for the next round, the mighty Atlético Madrid.

Hectic January

atmadrid_barca032.jpgJanuary was heaviest cup month, with four games in two rounds to get through. But FCB took it all in their stride, and started with a 3-1 win away to Atlético, with Messi shining, and topped it off with a 2-1 win at home. The next round at least didn’t mean having to travel, they met local rivals Espanyol, and after drawing at Montjuïc (0-0) they won a gripping return match at the Camp Nou (3-2).

Mallorca, last hurdle

439ppf0997.jpgJust Mallorca stood in the way of a trip to Mestalla. The first leg started well with a 2-0 win at the Camp Nou. Then the 1-1 draw at the Ono Estadi sealed Barça’s passage into their first final for 11 years.

Messi and Bojan on target

benidorm-fcb_x1x.jpgWith his equaliser against Mallorca, Leo Messi became the highest scorer in the cup, with five goals. Bojan also made a major contribution to the cup, with four goals, with his two against Espanyol being particularly decisive.

Pinto, most minutes

fcb-mallorca-copa_x13x.jpgPinto has been the first choice keeper for the cup. Along with Bojan and Sergio Busquets, he is one of the only players to have featured in all eight matches. The Andalusian keeper played 751 minutes in total. Behind him came Sergio Busquets, with 688, and Bojan, with 669.
The road to Mestalla
23 players used
Josep Guardiola has used every single one of his outfield players in the competition, with the exception of the injured Milito. And he also found room to give a run-out to reserve team players. The team against Benidorm included Nolito and Abraham, with the latter coming on for the last five minutes. Goalkeepers Valdés and Jorquera are the only players that have not played any direct part in this season’s cup campaign.

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