Real pressed effectively in the first half, but Barcelona exerted their dominance after the break.
With various absences, Jose Mourinho was forced to name a makeshift backline – Ricardo Carvalho played alongside Rafael Varane, Alvaro Arbeloa had to play left-back, so Michael Essien deputised on the right. New signing Diego Lopez started in goal, Jose Callejon was in for the suspended Angel Di Maria, and Kairm Benezema got the nod upfront.
Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura chose Jose Manuel Pinto in goal, as is customary in the Copa del Rey. Otherwise, the side was roughly as expected – many would say that this is Barcelona’s current strongest XI, with Daniel Alves showing signs of improvement after a poor 2012.
Real were brave with their early pressing and probably had the better of the first half, but Barcelona increasingly found space after half-time. Read more »