Luis Suarez was sent off but Barcelona reached the final of the Copa del Rey after beating Atletico Madrid 3-2 on aggregate, following an exhilarating semi-final, second leg at the Nou Camp on Tuesday evening.
The game witnessed goals, a wrongly disallowed strike, a missed penalty, and three red cards - in short, a pulsating evening that offered everything.
Chasing their first Nou Camp victory in 11 years, Atletico Madrid started the game strongly and saw Antoine Griezmann’s blocked inside three minutes.
Barcelona goalkeeper Cillessen was kept a busy man inside the opening exchanges, with Yannick Carrasco’s close-range shot went straight at the stopper. Four minutes later, Cillessen again produced a fine save as the visitors continued to ask questions of their hosts.
Despite dominating the entire half, Atletico went behind as goalkeeper Moya parried Leo Messi's low effort and Luis Suarez fired in the rebound to extend the hosts' aggregate lead.
It was a lively start restart for both the teams, but soon Barcelona saw full-back Sergi Roberto receive his second yellow card of the game after fouls on Fernando Torres and Filipe Luis.
Barcelona were reduced to 10 men, which encouraged Atletico to out everything on line. And Diego Simeone’s men responded, with Griezmann nearly making the advantage count but his goal three minutes later was wrongly disallowed for offside.
Shortly, Atletico too were reduced to 10 men after Carrasco was dismissed for a second yellow card, and Barcelona looked firmly in control of the game.
Messi should have had won the tie in the 78th minute, when he curled a free-kick towards goal, only to be denied by the crossbar.
On 80th minute, the visitors won a penalty as substitute Kevin Gameiro was tripped by Gerard Pique in the box. Gameiro decided to go for it himself, but blazed his spot kick over the crossbar. However, he quickly made amends in the 82nd minute by firing home past Cillessen to set up a tense final few minutes.
Barcelona were holding on, and were reduced to nine men in stoppage time when Suarez picked up his second yellow card in quick succession.
Suarez’s sending off gave renewed hopes to Atletico and the visitors pressed to force extra time late on. But all their efforts went in vain as Barcelona players held their nerves and reached the final for the third consecutive year.
Luis Enrique's Barcelona will face either Alaves or Celta Vigo in the finals on May 27.