Lionel Messi gives Barcelona edge over Atlético Madrid in Copa del Rey

• Copa del Rey semi-final, first leg: Atlético Madrid 1-2 Barcelona
• Griezmann 59; Suárez 7, Messi 33

By the end, Atlético Madrid were running at them from all sides but when the final whistle went Barcelona emerged from the Vicente Calderón with a 2-1 victory that gives them a valuable advantage going into next week’s Copa del Rey semi-final, second leg.

They came for an away goal and they got it; they got a victory, too. For most of the first half that looked guaranteed, but as the second progressed and Atlético pressed, it appeared to be slipping from their fingers. Ultimately, though, two superb goals, first from Luis Suárez and then from Lionel Messi gave them a led that could not be overcome here. Antoine Griezmann’s header was not enough. This was, to apply the old cliche, a game of two halves; it is a tie of two halves too, and the second is still to come.

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