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Football Reporting


Real Madrid, Barcelona to face off in Copa del Rey semifinal Clasico

Real Madrid and Barcelona have been drawn to face each other in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.

Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 3-1 in extra time to reach the last four and will now take on their Clasico rivals Barca over two legs after Monday’s draw.

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The first leg will be played at the Bernabeu on March 1, with the return at the Camp Nou in early April.

“At this stage of the competition there are no favourites,” Madrid defender Dani Carvajal said. “We will have to give the very best of us to reach the final. It has been a long time [2013-14] since we last lifted the Copa. That was my first title as a Madrid player. I hope this year we can lift it.”

Barca secured a 1-0 win over 10-man Real Sociedad to progress into the semifinals of the competition.

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Xavi’s side, who increased their lead at the top of LaLiga to five points at the weekend, beat Madrid 3-1 to lift the Spanish Supercup earlier this month.

Barca are also scheduled to host Madrid for the LaLiga Clasico on March 19.

“Without a doubt it’s going to be a huge game, not just in Spain but worldwide,” Barca football director Jordi Cruyff said.

“It’s going to be special. It’s a historic rival for us and we compete against them for everything. It’s going to be a beautiful battle.”

Osasuna face Athletic Club at home in their opener, having already eliminated Copa holders Real Betis in a penalty shootout and Sevilla in extra time en route to the semifinals.

Athletic won 3-1 at Valencia in the quarterfinals and are looking to reach their third Copa final in the last four editions.

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Osasuna are the only club left in the competition that has never lifted the Copa while Athletic have won it 24 times, only surpassed by Barca (31).

The Copa final is set to be played on May 6 at Seville’s La Cartuja stadium.

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