Barcelona hold on, oust Real
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Another Spanish clasico followed the usual script, with Real Madrid and coach Jose Mourinho coming up short against Barcelona yet again.
Pedro Rodriguez and Daniel Alves scored first-half goals, and Barcelona held off the defending Copa del Rey champion with a 2-2 tie Wednesday night that gave the Blaugrana a 4-3 aggregate win.
Real Madrid, which has won only once in its last 14 games against its rival, looked dejected as players left the field at halftime. Some apparently doubted whether it was even possible to beat the Catalan club - the defending Spanish league, European and world champions.
"I heard that in my dressing room," Mourinho recounted, "but I didn't say that."
Following the ninth clasico between the rivals in nine months, Barcelona advanced to the semifinals against Valencia or Levante.
Mourinho used a more attack-oriented lineup than he had in last week's 2-1 loss in the capital, which caused him to be jeered last weekend by his team's fans. Asked whether he had erred with his opening-leg strategy, the Portuguese coach responded simply with "no."
Mourinho again criticized the refereeing, with his players complaining it was "impossible" for Los Blancos to win at the Camp Nou.
"The players played a very good game," Mourinho said. "We came here looking to win. We knew we were behind, we were motivated, wanted to win."
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta left in the 30th minute favoring his left leg because of a torn muscle and will undergo tests Thursday. Alexis Sanchez was substituted by Javier Mascherano in the 79th after injuring a shoulder and is expected to miss one to two weeks.
Blaugrana coach Pep Guardiola said Los Merengues were able to disrupt Barcelona's normally fluid attack with its physical play.
"When you go up against such a good team, these things happen," Guardiola said. "You have to get over these things, and we did."
Pedro, who replaced Iniesta, put Barcelona ahead in the 43rd off a pass from Lionel Messi, who had drawn three defenders.
Barcelona doubled the lead in the 45th when a free kick by Xavi Hernandez, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday, went off Lassana Diarra and into the path of Alves, who sent a blistering shot into the top far corner past outstretched goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Cristiano Ronaldo started the comeback attempt in the 68th with his 30th goal of the season, running onto Mesut Oezil's through ball and rounding goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto. Substitute Karim Benzema tied the score in 73rd.
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was ejected in the 88th minute for his second yellow card.
"We were superior to Barca's team today," Pepe said.
Mourinho opted to start defender Pepe, who was jeered loudly on every touch after stomping on Messi's hand in the first leg.
Madrid was unlucky over the first half hour as Oezil hit the crossbar with a superb 30-yard effort, and Pinto made several point-blank stops on Gonzalo Higuain. Madrid had a Ramos goal waived off in the 54th for a foul.
"We played a great team, this is a 'clasico' so you know right up to the end you're going to have to suffer and hold off your rival," Alves said. "They caused us a lot of problems by pressuring high, but we knew how to respond."