Barca-Real Madrid semi all but assured

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says it was the draw he did not wish for, but Barcelona's 5-1 win over Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday makes it almost certain that Barcelona will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinals -- on top of games in La Liga and the Copa del Rey -- over the space of 17 days.

Here would be the dates:

April 17: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona in Madrid, La Liga
April 20: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona in Valencia, Copa del Rey final
April 26-27: UEFA Champions League semifinals, first leg
May 3-4: UEFA Champions League semifinals, second leg

Barcelona's win came a day after Real Madrid also won by four goals with a 4-0 victory over Tottenham.

The Catalan team needed only a minute to get on the board when Lionel Messi fed Andres Iniesta for the opening goal.

Daniel Alves made it 2-0 in the 34th minute, and Barca added goals by Gerard Pique, Seydou Keita and Xavi in the second half.

Yaroslav Rakitskiy's goal for Shakhtar doesn't figure to make a difference in the outcome of the series, but Guardiola is taking no chances.

"The result is what it is, but Shakhtar are led by an experienced coach [Mircea Lucescu] and I am still afraid," the Barca coach said. "We have to play in Donetsk first and then we will think about Real Madrid.”

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