May 20, 2013
Brilliant Messi gives Barça victory over Real Madrid
Argentine forward Lionel Messi's brilliant double gave Barcelona a 2-0 win over Real Madrid in a tempestuous Champions League semi-final first leg in which Real manager Jose Mourinho, Real midfielder Pepe and Barça reserve keeper Jose Manuel Pinto were sent off.
Messi's two goals, the second a sublime run and shot, settled a scrappy and tense affair at the Bernabeu and gave Barcelona a huge advantage to take back to the Nou Camp.
The Argentine met Ibrahim Afellay's low cross from the right to steer past Iker Casillas from close range 14 minutes from time to break the deadlock.
Messi then netted a wonderful second three minutes from time when he weaved his way into the Real penalty area and slotted past Casillas to give the Catalan side a two-goal cushion to take into Tuesday's return back in Barcelona.
Mourinho was sent off for his protestations soon after midfielder Pepe was dismissed in the 61st minute by referee Wolfgang Stark for a flying tackle on Daniel Alves.
Tempers had already flared at halftime with players and officials involved in a melee near the tunnel.
Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto was sent off for his part in an unsightly fracas.
A confrontation between Barca midfielder Seydou Keita and Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa as they left the pitch appeared to spark the trouble, which was quickly ended by security staff and police.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Albiol, Marcelo; Pepe, Alonso; Ronaldo, Ozil, Di María; Adebayor.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdés; Álves, Piqué, Puyol, Milito; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa.