Barça's 11 > Atlético's 9
It wasn't Atlético Madrid's night in the the Copa Del Rey on or off the pitch.
The result was an agonizing 2-3 scoreline that, combined with Barcelona's 1-0 first-leg victory, sent Barça through on a 4-2 aggregate.
That first leg between these two juggernauts ended rather calmly with Lionel Messi scoring the lone goal, whichcame from a penalty. Apparently, that was a harbinger of things to come.
The first fireworks were of the more normal variety, with Fernando Torres finding twine in the first minute:
Dude’s making a habit of scoring right after the kickoff. Any kickoff.
Undaunted, Barça were right back at it with a cool Neymar finish:
Yo, Atlético. Defense is more than a word in the dictionary.
Then there's diving. The bane of football. Until this. That linesman's flag must pack a real wallop:
Rolling to the ground after being hit by a thin stick holding a piece of cloth. Whoa, dude!
No wonder you never took up hockey. Not even in a peace-loving country like Switzerland:
Meanwhile, back on the pitch, Atlético regained the lead when Juanfran was brought down in a much more civil fashion. Having said that, it woulda been an awesome hip check in hockey, but here, it cost a Raúl García penalty conversion:
Not even the 'keeper guessing correctly was enough. And Juanfranco wasn't done; call his seven fingers the last great act of defiance in this Cup pairing:
As if Barcelona needed any gifts, it seems Atlético couldn't resist, offering a complimentary header:
Right kind of header, but wrong head and wrong post.
Barça quickly popped another one without any help:
It's not often you see a bicycle kick assist. Moments like that are why we watch. And all this happened before the half.
Obviously, Barcelona just doesn’t seem to get along with the Madrid clubs. In this instance, the clash of titans literally became a clash of titans.
Maybe Atlético is as angry as Real Madrid described them to be. Not as appreciated is how creative Los Colchoneros can be in the process. For example, if you're gonna get slapped with a red card, make it worth the effort:
Don't know about the formula for wrongs and rights, but two yellows definitely makes one red. And here's Gabi's second:
By that time, Barça was content to play keep away as the Cup result was an afterthought. Everyone was probably already busy, circling Sun 17 May, when Barça returns to Vicente Calderón Stadium -- for now -- in La Liga.