Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fine goal scoring record at the Nou Camp with a brace as Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 to go through to the final of the King’s Cup 4-2 on aggregate.
The Portuguese hit a first half penalty and then knocked in a rebound after the break as Real took full advantage of their counter-attacks.
Raphael Varane headed the third after 68 minutes while Jordi Alba got a late consolation.
Real Madrid will now take on the winners of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid who play on Wednesday, the capital side enjoying a 2-1 lead from their first leg.
Ronaldo has now scored in his last six visits to the Catalan capital and came out on top in his personal battle with Lionel Messi, who was largely anonymous in the game.
The Argentine, however, has the chance to respond when the pair meet again in the league at the weekend.
This was the vital game though for Real who trail leaders Barcelona by 16 points in La Liga after a poor campaign and it is their best chance of picking up some silverware outside of the Champions League, in which they are evenly poised against Manchester United after a 1-1 first leg draw at the Bernabeu.
There were no surprises in the Barcelona lineup with Andres Iniesta preferred in attack to David Villa which allowed space for Cesc Fabregas in midfield.
Jose Mourinho chose Varane, who did so well in the first leg, ahead of Pepe to partner Sergio Ramos in the heart of the Madrid defence while finally there was no space for the rejuvenated Kaka with Angel Di Maria starting on the right wing.
Barca began at a high-tempo with Iniesta firing wide from 20 yards and then Messi screwed an angled shot with his weaker right foot past the post from the edge of the six-yard box before two minutes were even on the clock.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.