The El Clasico rivals will now face each other thrice in the space of less than 30 days, thanks to the latest semi-finals draw for the Copa Del Rey.
The Catalans were on fire against Sevilla in the second leg of quarter-finals of the Cup competition as Messi and co. won 6-1 at the Camp Nou to turn around the 2-goal deficit. Los Blancos also booked their place in the last with 7-3 aggregate score against Girona.
And as the fate would have it, the Spanish giants will face each other in the semi-final of Copa Del Rey. Two legs of the tie will be played on 7th February and 28th February. With the league game between both the clubs already taking place on 3rd March, the fans will now be treated to three El Clasicos in just one month.
In the other semi-final, Valencia will take on Real Betis, after both clubs also won their quarter-final tie in quite a heroic manner.
Barcelona cruised past Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season as the Messi-less Barcelona won 5-1 at the Camp Nou, thanks to Luis Suarez’s hat-trick. Julen Lopetegui was sacked after that result against Barcelona and Santiago Solari has done well to recover from a disappointing start to the season. But this will be a big test for the Argentine as well, who will be in charge of his first El Clasico.
This will also be the first time both clubs face each other in the Copa Del Rey since 2013-14 final, where Gareth Bale’s famous goal sealed the title for Real Madrid. Since then, Barcelona have won the competition in 4 consecutive seasons, while Los Blancos are in the last four for the first time since 2013-14 final.
Real Madrid currently sit 10 points behind Barcelona in the league table and will face Ajax in round of 16 clash in the Champions League. Despite being alive in all three competitions, Madrid’s chances of winning a silverware this season depend on their performance in the Copa Del Rey and hence, this tie will be more crucial for Los Blancos and especially Santiago Solari, who will be looking to keep his place for the next season.
Real Madrid will face Alaves in the next league fixture while the Catalans will host Valencia on Saturday night.
Mamma mia! What a draw! 3 El Clasicos in one month! As excited as I am about these three games, they could be the turning point for both Barcelona and Real Madrid’s rest of the season. A great performance in these three games will obviously be crucial for Barcelona as the Catalans are fighting on all three fronts.
But most importantly, winning this semi-final could reignite Real Madrid and not only can they go on to win Copa Del Rey, but with multiple El Clasico wins behind them, Los Blancos could become be a huge threat in the Champions League once again.