Sat, Jan 14, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Barca set up Copa ‘Clasico’ with win

SHOWDOWN:Real Madrid host their feared rivals on Wednesday, with the winner of the two-legged tie facing either Valencia or Levante in the Copa del Rey semi-finals

AP, MADRID

Barcelona are set to play Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals after coming from behind to beat CA Osasuna 2-1 on Thursday and cruise to a 6-1 aggregate victory.

Defending champions Real Madrid host the first leg on Wednesday, with the return match at Barcelona on Jan. 25. The rivals have already met three times this season, with Barcelona winning the two-legged Spanish Super Cup 5-4 on aggregate in August, before a 3-1 victory at Madrid in the league last month.

The two games will take the number of “Clasico” matches in the last nine months to nine. Madrid’s sole victory was in the Copa del Rey final last season.

“That’s the draw for us. We’ll have to prepare well like we always do,” defender Gerard Pique said. “In a Barca-Madrid there are no favorites.”

On a foggy Thursday night, Dejan Lekic deservedly put hosts Osasuna ahead in the 41st minute of a strong first half against a Barcelona lineup that included several “B” team players, with the team having won the first leg 4-0.

Alexis Sanchez leveled by heading in Adriano’s cross in the 47th minute and, with Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets coming on as substitutes, Barcelona dominated until the end, with Sergi Roberto capping a typical buildup by scoring the winner in the 72nd minute.

Earlier, Gaizka Toquero’s impressive back-heeled goal helped Athletic Bilbao beat third-tier club Albacete 4-0 and they are set to play RCD Mallorca in the last eight.

Bilbao or Mallorca will play either RCD Espanyol or third-division club Mirandes, while Barcelona or Madrid will face the winner of a city derby between Valencia and Levante UD.

Osasuna, also fielding a number of youth team players, pressured the European champions in the first half to disrupt their play.

Pique headed a chance off the line, before goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto dived to save Lekic’s volleyed shot in the 17th minute. Lekic again volleyed wide shortly before finally scoring after Raoul Loe eluded defenders near the Barcelona area.

After the restart, Adriano bounced a cross across the face of goal to find Sanchez at the far post for the leveler.

Sanchez was replaced by Messi in the 58th minute and the Ballon d’Or winner settled in by threading the pass through for winger Roberto to shoot past Riesgo into the bottom corner for the winner.

At the San Mames, Toquero controlled the ball inside the area and, with his back to goal, used the back of his foot to make it 3-0 in the 78th minute.

Markel Susaeta scored the opener, reaching Iker Muniain’s through ball, before chipping goalkeeper Alvaro Campos in the 24th minute.

Ander Herrera doubled the lead with a volley into the top corner in the 64th minute after collecting the rebound from Campos’ save from Muniain.

Mikel San Jose scored with a header in the 86th minute.

Fernando Llorente had a number of scoring opportunities in his first match since early last month, before being replaced.

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