Friday, February 6, 2009

Barca edge Mallorca 2-0 in Copa semis

Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez scored to lead Barcelona past Mallorca 2-0 at in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals Thursday.

Henry headed in a cross by Bojan Krkic in the 35th minute and Marquez notched his first goal for Barcelona from a free kick in the 74th, curling the ball over a wall of defenders and finding the upper left hand corner of the goal.

The clash began in front of around 50,000 spectators with a minute's silence for Barcelona field hockey team boss Josep Llorente, who died earlier in the day.

Lionel Messi was on the substitute's bench but right back Daniel Alves was in Barcelona's lineup after he successfully appealed a suspension to the Spanish Football Federation on Thursday. Barcelona team boss Pep Guardiola chose not to risk captain Carles Puyol, who was recovering from an injured left leg muscle sustained during a quarter-final victory against Espanyol a week ago.

Barcelona striker Krkic had two early shots saved by outstretched Mallorca goalkeeper German Lux

Messi and Sergio Busquets went on to huge applause in the 55th for Henry and Eidur Gudjohnsen, who played his 100th clash for Barcelona.

Lux was forced to save a powerful shot from Messi nine minutes later and another shot, this time left-footed, 10 minutes after that.

Samuel Eto'o substituted Krkic in the 86th also to a loud ovation.

Sevilla beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in the other first-leg semifinal Wednesday.