Another El Clasico in Copa del Rey
Barcelona set to face Real Madrid in Copa del Rey semi-finals
Barcelona have set up a Copa del Rey semi-final showdown with Real Madrid after defeating Malaga 4-2 in the second leg of their thrilling quarter-final tie, to win 6-4 on aggregate.
With scores locked at 2-2 from the first leg, it was Barca who gained an early advantage at La Rosaleda when Pedro Rodriguez finished off a well-crafted team goal in the 8th minute.
The celebrations were short lived as Joaquin equalised for Malaga just four minutes later, giving the hosts a chance of reaching their first semi-final this century.
Barcelona restored their lead shortly after the break when Gerard Pique found the net, but a resilient Malaga once again drew level with Roque Santa Cruz breaking through in the 68th minute.
Just as the match looked to be heading for extra-time, Andres Iniesta combined with Cesc Fabregas to score in the 76th minute, before Lionel Messi headed home his 40th goal of the season to seal the win.
Barca will now face Real Madrid in the Copa for the third consecutive year, with the winner of that match set to face either Atletico Madrid or Sevilla in the last round.
Atletico eliminated Real Betis earlier on Thursday, with a 1-1 draw enough to see them through 3-1 on aggregate.
Diego Simeone's side had a comfortable 2-0 first leg lead and they extended the advantage with a Diego Costa goal on the stroke of half-time.
Betis were never in the match and a last-minute penalty from Jorge Molina was a mere consolation for the hosts.
Sevilla progressed to the semis, after knocking out Real Zaragoza 4-0 on aggregate. After a goalless draw from the first leg, Alvaro Negredo and Ivan Rakitic scored before half-time to put Sevilla in pole position.
Negredo doubled his tally, before Manu del Moral finished off Zaragoza in the dying minutes.
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