Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid: Player Ratings | Copa Del Rey 2018-19
All to play for in the second leg as Spanish superclubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid could not be separated in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final at the Camp Nou. The 1-1 scoreline was a fair indication of two evenly matched teams.
Lionel Messi was only fit enough to start from the bench so cup regular Malcom was given a start in a strong Barcelona starting line up. Barcelona are the current champions of the Copa Del Rey and is seeking to wear the crown for the fifth straight season.
The first El Clásico meeting between the eternal rivals this season saw a Messi-less Barcelona wipe the floor with Julen Lopetegui's Real Madrid in a 5-1 triumph. Since then former Real Madrid midfielder Santiago Solari replaced Lopetegui.
Solari has improved the results somewhat but today was the first real big test for the Argentine. A test he surely passed, making some controversial lineup decisions. Isco once again had no place in the starting line-up, also left out were Casemiro, Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale.
With the second leg poised to kick off in two weeks time, there is everything to play for at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Marc-André ter Stegen- 7/10
ter Stegen had absolutely no chance to prevent the Real Madrid goal in the first six minutes of the game.
Clément Lenglet- 7/10
The former Sevilla man played a beautiful ball over the top that caused havoc for the Madrid defence, a play ultimately led to Malcom's equaliser.
Gerard Piqué- 8/10
An El Clásico veteran, Pique, showed his class again today sweeping up whenever necessary for the Catalan club.
Jordi Alba- 6/10
The marauding left-back's mistimed header opened the door for Karim Benzema to assist Lucas Vazquez for the first goal of the game. Became a more attacking threat in the second half.
Nélson Semedo- 8/10
Had his hands full containing Vinicius Junior in the first half and to be fair dealt with the Brazilian quite well. A wonderful tackle on Gareth Bale kept his team from conceding another.
Sergio Busquets- 7/10
Acted in his customary pivot role as linked up perfectly with his fellow midfielders. Led some beautiful combination play late in the second half that almost carved out a good chance for Messi.
For a player so young, Arthur plays with immense maturity, he looks like he has been playing in the Nou Camp for years. Today was no different.
Ivan Rakitic- 6/10
Unluckily, Rakitic smashed his first-half header off the crossbar. Hooked for Arturo Vidal minutes after the equaliser.
Luis Suárez- 8/10
In Messi's absence, Barcelona must have expected Suarez to take a greater leadership role as he did in the last El Clásico. Suarez didn't do quite that but was effective enough to be a big part of Barcelona's only goal.
Philippe Coutinho- 6/10
Besides one defence-splitting pass midway through the first half, Coutinho was quiet for long spells of the game and was hooked for Messi on the 64th minute.
Malcom- 8/10* Man of the Match
Given a great chance today from the start and should have scored the equaliser when he was played through with only Keylor Navas to beat. His dangerous freekick was turned onto the bar by Rakitic. His hard work paid off when he pounced after Suarez's shot hit the post to squeeze the ball into the Madrid net. His effort did have some help from a Carvajal deflection and Ramos not knowing where he was standing.
Lionel Messi- 7/10
Immediately showed his quality when he entered the game but just did not have enough time to hurt Madrid. Should be fit for the second leg.
Arturo Vidal- 6/10
Battled well and continued the job of Rakitic.
Carles Aleñá- N/A
Rarely got involved when he came on.