The first of two Clasicos in Madrid in four days went Barcelona's way–decisively.
Barcelona broke open the Copa del Rey semifinals with a three-goal second half at the Bernabeu, ousting rival Real Madrid with a 3-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) to reach a sixth straight final and earn the right to play for a fifth straight title.
The teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg earlier this month, and Real Madrid had the look of a winner over the first 45 minutes, but Luis Suarez scored twice and helped force an own goal in a 23-minute span in the second half to secure the victory. The two sides will meet again on Saturday in a league match, with Barcelona able to all but end Real's faint title hopes on that front, too.
The opening five minutes felt like more of a sparring match, with Real Madrid having the better of the ball and Barcelona being uncharacteristically sloppy with it, with Ousmane Dembele guilty of a couple of early giveaways.
Messi, largely subdued on the day, was at the center of Barcelona's first foray forward, breezing down the center of the park before sending it wide left to Dembele. The French international's cross picked out Suarez by the far post, and he centered for Sergi Roberto, only for his near post run to be marked and the pass put out for a corner by Sergio Reguilon in the eighth minute.
Real Madrid rising star Vinicius was caught in the middle of a close call in the 14th minute, when he appeared to go down in the box under pressure from Nelson Semedo. Referee Jose Sanchez wasted little time in calling on Vinicius to get up, though, waving play on and denying Real Madrid's wish for a penalty. Vinicius nearly took matters into his own hands minutes later, getting free for a 16-yard shot only to blast it over the goal.
Barcelona survived going down a goal in the 23rd minute. Vinicius, again, was the catalyst, sending Karim Benzema down the left while taking off for the center of the box. Jordi Alba failed to properly clear Benzema's return pass, with the ball falling for Vinicius, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen raced off his line to cut off the angle and make the save.
Vinicius and Benzema both had chances to fire Real Madrid into the lead in the 37th minute, too. Casemiro won the ball off Gerard Pique and sprung Vinicius down the center, but his own costly touch took gave Clement Lenglet enough time to come up with a recovery tackle to block the shot. The Brazilian was able to come up with the loose ball and cross for Benzema, but he fired right at ter Stegen with his open chance.
A minute later, Vinicius had yet another opportunity. Reguilon crossed for him in the center of the box, and he had to pull back to try and volley it home, only able to curl it over the crossbar.
That wastefulness came into play in a big way early in the second half, when Barcelona found the breakthrough it needed. Jordi Alba played it forward to Dembele on the left-hand side, where the Frenchman hit a deft touch to pick out Suarez. The Uruguayan forward, criticized for his lack of productivity this season, came through with a perfect low finish, beating Keylor Navas to his near post to make it 1-0 on the day and 2-1 on aggregate. The tally, which came on Barcelona's first shot on goal, also nullified Real Madrid's away-goal edge.
Ter Stegen kept Barcelona in front just after the hour mark, when it looked like Real Madrid would pull even. Again, it was Vinicius in the center of it, with him beating his mark Semedo and clipping a pinpoint cross to Reguilon, who found himself in position to score. Ter Stegen went full-extension to his left and made a strong, two-handed save to keep his diving header out.
Ter Stegen was at it again in the 67th minute, with Dani Carvajal sending in a teasing low blast that the goalkeeper had to come claim. He was able to do so cleanly, though, knowing full well that any rebound would've been punished with Benzema waiting on the doorstep.
Moments after Vinicius was inches from sensationally pulling Real Madrid even, the mountain got even higher for the hosts. Semedo played Dembele forward on the right side, where then crossed to the far post. Suarez was closest to it, but Raphael Varane wound up touching it into the goal to make it 2-0 on the day and 3-1 on aggregate. With Barcelona taking the away-goal advantage, it meant that Real Madrid needed three to go to the final.
That number became four minutes later. Suarez earned a penalty after a foul on Casemiro, and he added disrespect to the scoreboard by chipping a Panenka penalty down the center to make it 3-0 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate.
That sealed the victory and sets up Real Madrid for a potential disaster on a second front if it can't correct its wrongs in four days' time.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
Barcelona will play either Valencia or Real Betis in the final. They played to a 2-2 draw in their first leg and complete their matchup on Thursday.