Neymar got a brace, as Barcelona came from behind to seal a 3-2 victory over nine-man Atletico Madrid and reach the King’s Cup semi-finals 4-2 on aggregate Wednesday.
Fernando Torres put Atletico ahead inside the first minute with a precise strike from the edge of the area but Barcelona, clicked into form recently and hit back quickly through Neymar. Atletico were awarded a penalty when Javier Mascherano was adjudged to have fouled Juanfran Torres on the half-hour mar. Raul Garcia made no mistake from the spot to restore Atletico’s advantage.
Miranda put the ball into his own net as he attempted to clear a corner which had been flicked on by Sergio Busquets and in a lightning attack from Barcelona’s Jordi Alba found Neymar, in the area and the Brazilian finished clinically.
There were heated exchanges throughout the match with plenty at stake and it boiled over at halftime with Atletico midfielder Gabi Fernandez sent off following a confrontation in the tunnel. Mario Suarez was also dismissed six minutes from the end after receiving his second yellow card. The Atletico players were angry with the performance of the referee but Busquets felt that neither side benefited from his decisions.
Barcelona will face the winners of Getafe and Villarreal who play, Thursday with the latter leading 1-0 from the first leg. Athletic Bilbao are at home to Malaga having drawn 0-0 in the first leg and Espanyol travel to Sevilla leading 3-1.