Barcelona's Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during their Copa del Rey semifinal first leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on March 2, 2023. Photo: AFP
A tenacious Barcelona frustrated Real Madrid to secure a 1-0 win over their bitter rivals in an ill-tempered Copa del Rey semifinal first leg on Thursday.
The visitors defended superbly after Real centre back Eder Militao scored an own goal in the first half, reports Reuters.
Barcelona's winner arrived in the 26th minute when Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga gifted a back pass to Ferran Torres who reacted quickly to slide the ball to Franck Kessie.
His point-blank strike was saved but bounced off Militao and into the net.
The assistant referee signalled offside but the VAR replay showed Kessie was fractionally onside and the goal stood.
The teams meet again in Barcelona on April 5 with the winners to face Athletic Bilbao or Osasuna in the final.
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