Real Madrid 1 - 2 Barcelona (Cup Quarterfinals 1st Leg)

Real Madrid never give up; it's in their DNA and history. That's why Mourinho's men will look for a comeback at the Camp Nou next Wednesday. The Whites are only one goal behind and will look to turn the aggregate around to reach the Copa del Rey semifinals. Jose Mourinho used a surprising starting eleven that included Altintop and Carvalho. Real Madrid gave a great performance in the first half and scored the opener through Cristiano Ronaldo, regarding whom all doubts should be dispelled. The visitors were more effective after half-time and turned the score around. Benzema had a chance to net an equaliser but sent the ball to the post after defeating Pinto.

Barcelona's comeback begun with a Puyol's goal

Real Madrid knew exactly what to do from the start: playing together and looking to surprise Barcelona with long passes capitalising on the speed of Ronaldo and Benzema. It didn't matter that Guardiola's men kept possession as long as they didn't prove dangerous up front. Benzema served Ronaldo a long assist in the 11th minute and the striker defeated Pinto with a great shot. Two ensuing saves by Casillas avoided Barça from drawing the encounter before half-time.

Puyol headed in a corner-kick at the start of the second half (48'), which greatly hurt the Whites and forced them to try for a comeback. Altintop served a great cross on the 57-minute mark that Benzema unluckily headed towards a post when Pinto would have been unable to clear the ball. Mourinho made Ozil and Callejon come on for Higuain and Lass looking for a reaction, more possession and a deeper attack.

Real Madrid moved their lines forward looking for another strike, leaving more spaces for Barcelona to counterattack in. Abidal eventually scored the winner after receiving a pass into the box from Messi (76') and things looked increasingly harder for Real, who constantly searched for an equaliser. These great efforts exhausted the players, but the Bernabeu continued to spur them on until the final whistle.

Real must now focus on La Liga, in which they top the table with a five-point cushion over Barça. They will face Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Sunday and will search for three points to seal the first leg with a comfortable lead. They will face Barça in the return leg of the Copa on Wednesday. No one should think they will toss the trophy aside: that's not what the team's history and philosophy are all about. Mourinho's men will look to reach the semis in Barcelona; the defending champs are not about to let go easily of the trophy.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 83,500
Goals: 1-0, m.11: Cristiano. 1-1, m.48: Puyol. 1-2, m.76: Abidal.


Mallorca 1 - 2 Real Madrid (Spanish League Day 19)

Real Madrid suffered and were forced to turn the score around in Mallorca. Mourinho's men netted the winner on the 84-minute mark despite not giving their best performance. The victory is crucial, given this is was the sort of match that can truly help decide the outcome of the league championship.

Callejon scored a crucial goal on the 84th minute

Mallorca were set to complicate things for the Madridistas at their stadium, thwarting all of Xabi Alonso's attempts to channel his team's efforts. The Whites were having no chances on goal and Mallorca started to look for fast countrerattacks. Hemed had a chance to net the opener but his shot was off target (27'). The locals eventually scored on the 38-minute mark when the striker finished off a Chory Castro free-kick. Real Madrid reacted quickly and Sergio Ramos tried to score an equaliser from a header, sending the ball to the crossbar instead.

Higuain came on for Lass after half-time and Real started to dominate every aspect of the game. Mallroca defended in their half of the pitch simply waiting for their chance to counterattack. Despite this dominance, the Madridistas weren't scoring and only a couple of long shots by Ronaldo created some danger.

Mourinho took a risk making Coentrao and Kaka come on for full backs Marcelo and Arbeloa. This prompted a tactical change by which Real used three defenders. Risks were necessary in order to win and soon Kaka nearly scored, forcing Aouate to send the ball to a corner-kick with a stretch. Higuain eventually scored the equaliser with a little help from Tissone finishing off a cross into the box from Ozil on the 71-minute mark. With time left on the ticker, the Whites tried everything for another strike and Ronaldo nearly scored an amazing goal, but his shot hit the crossbar.

Callejon finally scored the winner picking up a clearance from the local defence, but Real had to fight off Mallorca's final onslaught in the final minutes as they searched for an equaliser that never came.


Stadium: Iberostar Stadium
Attendance: 19,500
Goals: 1-0, min. 38: Tomer Hemed. 1-1, min. 71: Higuaín. 1-2, min. 84: Callejón.
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