Our event of the day is the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. The teams are tied at 1-1 after the first leg so it’s all to play for. Barcelona are the four-time defending champions while this is Real Madrid’s best performance in the competition in four seasons. Be sure you don’t miss what is sure to be another classic instalment in this exciting rivalry. This will be the 240th competitive edition of El Clásico and could be one of the best modern iterations of the rivalry.
For Real Madrid, it marks an opportunity to break out in a tournament they have struggled in for the past few seasons. This semifinals appearance marks the furthest they have progressed in the Spanish club tournament since the 2013-14 season, where they beat Barcelona 2-1 in the final. Since then, they had been eliminated in the quarterfinals twice, disqualified in the 2015-16 competition and sent home in the round of 16 the season after their tournament win. However, this season has seen them utterly dominate, outscoring their opponents 20-5. Half their tournament goals came in their round of 32 fixture against Segunda División B side Melilla, who they beat 10-1 across the two-leg fixture. Real Madrid has had 10 goal scorers across the competition with Karim Benzema leading with 4. A win today would allow Real Madrid to compete for their 20th Copa del Rey trophy. Meanwhile, Barcelona have a reputation to uphold as they are the four-time defending champions in the tournament. If they were to win today, and went on to win the tournament, they would set a new record for consecutive Copa del Rey titles. Real Madrid won four titles between 1905 and 1908 and Athletic Bilbao won four between 1930 and 1933. However, no team has ever won five titles in a row. They, like Real Madrid, have eased through the competition thus far, outscoring their opponents 20-6. Where the two teams differ is that Barcelona has had to come back from behind. In both their Round of 16 match against Levante and their quarter-final against Sevilla, Barcelona lost the first leg and came from behind to progress in the tournament. In the first leg of the semi-final, the teams drew 1-1. Real Madrid took an early lead through a Lucas Vázquez shot poked past the outstretched arm of Marc-André ter Stegen. Keylor Navas defended his own net well, making a number of athletic saves as Barcelona looked for an equaliser However, an ill-advised block at the edge of the penalty box from the Real Madrid keeper led to Barcelona’s Malcom curling in a beautiful shot to tie the game. You will not want to miss the return fixture tonight.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the second T20 between India and Australia at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Australia took the first T20 on Sunday with a half-century from Glen Maxwell and the stifling of India’s lower order, with the last four batsmen for India managing a combined total of 4 runs. Australia will look to maintain their momentum in what is sure to be an exciting day of cricket. Elsewhere, in the Premier League, Chelsea will try to move back into the top 4 as they face London rivals Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will look to recover from their Caraboa Cup final loss on Sunday. In NCAA basketball, 2nd ranked Virginia host Georgia Tech at the John Paul JonesArena. In the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche host the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center. On the WTA Tour, the Oracle Challenger Series continues at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Real Madrid; FC Barcelona
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