Copa del Rey, Barcelona beat Real Madrid: Busquets surpasses Messi
A first-half own goal from Real Madrid powered Barcelona to a 1-0 win in their Copa del Rey semi-final (first leg) at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday. Barca entered the field without Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, and Robert Lewandowski. Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets surpassed legends Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos in terms of most El Clasico appearances. Here are the key stats.
Why does this story matter?
- A football match between arch-rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is known as the El Clasico.
- On Thursday, Barcelona captain Busquets featured in his 46th Clasico. As a result, he overtook Messi and Ramos in terms of appearances in the game between the two clubs.
- Both Messi and Ramos finished their La Liga careers with 45 derbies each.
Most wins in El Clasico history
Busquets scripted another record as Barcelona beat Real Madrid in a crucial tie. He now has the most wins in El Clasico history (22). Busquets broke the record of Spanish player, Paco Gento, who recorded 21 such wins.
Happy to have played more Clasicos than anyone else: Busquets
"I am happy to have played more Clasicos than anyone else," Busquets said on his achievement. "As a player, these are the games you love. I am lucky to have been at the best club in the world for many years and I am still enjoying it. It was an important win, but we still have the second leg to go."
Key takeaways from the match
Barcelona were benefitted from the own goal by Eder Militao in the 26th minute. Madrid striker Vinicius Junior's midfield tussle with Frenkie de Jong was a talking point. The former received a yellow card after taking Jong down in a headlock. As per Opta, Vinicius has received yellow cards nine times in the major competitions of Spain this season.
Barca, Madrid to clash in La Liga
Barcelona and Real Madrid will lock horns again on March 19 in La Liga. The Catalans are seven points ahead of second-placed Madrid. The two teams will then clash in the Copa del Rey second leg at Camp Nou on April 5.