words // Nick Engvall
Today’s match may have ended in a 1-1 draw, but after last week’s 2-0 victory, FC Barcelona moved on to the UEFA Champions League Final. In one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports, Real Madrid would have needed two goals to overcome last Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to bring the series even. For the first half, it looked as if goalkeeper Iker Casillas was going to single-handedly make it happen. Casillas racked up the saves after multiple shots on goal from Barcelona, including one from David Villa and one from Lionel Messi. Despite promising attacking from Cristiano Ronaldo, the two teams were locked in a scoreless battle at half time.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, Pedro of Barcelona put in the first goal of the game on a assist from Iniesta. Down three aggregate goals, you might think that Real Madrid would roll over but they responded ten minutes later when Angel Di Maria set up Marcelo for a goal in the 64th minute. From that point on the Catalans of Barcelona seemed to stifle any offensive that Real Madrid could muster and maintained control for the remainder of the match.
The crowd did however find excitement with the substitution of Eric Abidal. Abidal had a cancerous tumor removed from his liver in March and returned to action for the first time since stepping away from the game in mid march after a routine check up revealed the tumor.
Barcelona will await the winner of the Manchester United versus Schalke series. Manchester United is up 2-0 in aggregate goals and the teams will meet today in England to decide the series winner.
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