With Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson looking on in the stands, Real Madrid produced a near-perfect performance at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night to advance to the Copa del Rey final, winning 3-1 against archrival Barcelona. Los Blancos allowed Barca to dominate possession but suffocated World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, keeping the Catalan giant to only a handful of shots on goal. Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show, scoring in a record sixth consecutive ‘Clasico’ away from home, with the first coming from the spot and the second from a quick counter.
"We want to continue in the same vein," Ronaldo told Spanish television after the win. "This game gives us enormous confidence for the trip to Manchester." Just as it did last night, Real goes into next Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg at Old Trafford with a 1-1 draw. "We have to transfer this to the match against Manchester United,” Real’s injured goalkeeperIker Casillas said. “It is also 1-1 and we have to score and keep a clean sheet. That's the aim that we're going with."
The Copa victory will come as a huge relief to the club and to under-fire Coach Jose Mourinho in particular, as Real, which hosts Barca in La Liga this weekend, trails the Catalan club by 16 points in the league. "We played a very good tie all round and this will motivate us to make a good showing of ourselves in other matches,” Casillas added. “Winning the Champions League is a better possibility than the league, but Real Madrid will fight to the end."