It was a tale of two halves at Camp Nou, as Karim Benzema‘s hat-trick stunned Barcelona and booked Real Madrid’s place in the Copa del Rey final.
Coming off three straight wins against Los Blancos, Barça headed into the Copa del Rey tie with a goal advantage from the first leg. They began the match with a dominant first half, and despite going down 0-1 at halftime, Xavi’s men were clearly the better side for the first 45. The second period, however, was a completely different story, as the home support saw their team falter and concede three more goals.
Of course, Barcelona fielded an XI that was missing several key players: Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé, Andreas Christensen, and Frenkie de Jong. However, as Xavi himself pointed out, this was not an excuse, and it should never be used as one.
There were a few standout performers in the first half, but unfortunately, their form didn’t carry over late. Let’s take a look at the individual performances of each Barcelona player:
Marc-André Ter Stegen (6/10)
Honestly, not much he could’ve done to salvage this result. His distribution in the first half was quite good (although he shrunk a bit in the second half as well). He did produce a great save against Marco Asensio, but he guessed wrong on Karim Benzema’s penalty in the 58th minute. As far as the other goals are concerned, Ter Stegen never had much of a chance to foil Real Madrid’s attempts. As good as he’s been this season, he’s not a miracle worker.