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Barcelona Ties Real Madrid 2-2 to Reach Copa del Rey Semifinal

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Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Barcelona tied Real Madrid 2-2 at home to move to the semifinal of Spanish soccer’s Copa del Rey.

Goals from Pedro and Dani Alves late in the first half were enough to give the hosts a 4-3 victory over the two-match series. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored for Real in the second half. Barcelona won 2-1 in Madrid on Jan. 19.

Real controlled play early in the match, with Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto making several saves, and Madrid forward Mesut Ozil’s 25-yard (22 meter) shot bouncing down off the crossbar but not going in.

The home side fought back in the last five minutes of the first half as Lionel Messi drew defenders and passed to Pedro to score. Four minutes later Alves’s shot from just inside the 18-yard box went into the top of the opposite corner. The ball was deflected after a free kick given when Lassana Diarra fouled Messi, which could have been the Madrid player’s second yellow card.

Real started to press in the second half, with a Sergio Ramos headed goal disallowed for a foul. With 30 minutes left, the visitors put on Jose Callejon and Benzema as substitutes. Ronaldo scored in the 68th minute and Benzema shot past Pinto four minutes later.

The visitors, who needed a goal to advance to the semifinal, continued to challenge until Ramos was sent off in the 89th minute for an elbow at Barcelona’s Camp Nou.

Real beat European champion Barcelona in last year’s final of the Copa del Rey, the domestic cup competition. Barcelona beat its archrival on the way to winning the Champions League last season, and also won the Spanish league title.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:

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