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Barça down Málaga to set up Madrid showdown

Thursday 24 January 2013 23.53 CET
Andrés Iniesta enjoys capping a fine performance with Barcelona's third goal

Holders FC Barcelona will meet Real Madrid CF in the Copa del Rey semi-finals after overcoming Málaga CF 4-2 in southern Spain to seal a 6-4 aggregate win.

Tonight's second leg started in explosive fashion as Barcelona's Daniel Alves burst through and crossed for Pedro Rodríguez to nod in on nine minutes, but the hosts levelled three minutes later when Joaquín curled his finish inside José Manuel Pinto's near post after a pass from Duda.

Andrés Iniesta struck the bar before the break but his next contribution was more telling as his 49th-minute centre was chested down and fired in by Gerard Piqué. The Andalusian side refused to buckle, however, and Roque Santa Cruz completed a counterattack by driving in via a post to make it 2-2. Málaga could not contain Iniesta, though, and the midfielder darted through to poke home 14 minutes from time, with Lionel Messi's late header adding further gloss.

Club Atlético de Madrid will play Sevilla FC in the other semi-final after they drew 1-1 at Real Betis Balompié to wrap up a 3-1 aggregate triumph. The visitors put the tie out of reach on the stroke of half-time in Seville when a mix-up between Betis goalkeeper Casto and Antonio Amaya allowed Diego Costa to tap into an empty net. Atlético's Diego Godín was penalised for a 90th-minute foul on Jorge Molina, who then stroked in his spot kick to restore parity on the night. The first legs of the last-four encounters take place next week with the return fixtures at the end of February.

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