Spain

Malaga 2-4 Barcelona

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Messi: Wraps up the win

Messi: Wraps up the win

Barcelona scored three times in the second half to beat a resilient Malaga side 4-2 to book a place in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

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The Catalan giants travelled to La Rosaleda in need of overturning a 2-2 draw - and two Malaga away goals - from the first leg at Camp Nou last week, but were without coach Tito Vilanova who was in hospital receiving medical treatment.

Barca got off to a bright start in Andalusia, Pedro rounding off a wonderful move by heading home from Dani Alves' cross after eight minutes, but the lead didn't last long as Joaquin struck in a low equaliser just four minutes later.

Malaga still led the quarter-final on away goals but Barcelona threatened to rule out that advantage in the first half.

Lionel Messi saw two shots well saved by Carlos Kameni and another cleared off the line while Andres Iniesta clipped the crossbar from 18-yards.

The away side restored their lead four minutes into the second half when Gerard Pique brilliantly brought down Iniesta's pass before sliding a low shot under the body of Kameni from 18-yards, ruling out any advantage in Malaga's two away goals.

But Manuel Pellegrini's side responded again to level the tie, this time through Roque Santa Cruz, who fired a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box on 69 minutes.

Any Barcelona nerves were dismissed within 10 minutes, though, as Iniesta put them back in the lead from inside the box before Messi inevitably got himself on the score sheet with a sublime header.

La Liga leaders Barcelona now face Real Madrid in an eye-catching Copa del Rey last-four clash.

Posted: 25/01/13 09:50

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