The hype is nearly over, we promise, in less than hour Barcelona and Real Madrid will finally walk on the pitch and decide who will be going to the Copa del Rey final. There's been plenty of speculation, subtexts and stories surrounding this match but when it comes down to it, all that really matters is what happens on the pitch.
As it stands, the teams are tied 1-1 after the first leg at the Estadio Bernabéu with Barcelona holding an away goal that currently would be the tiebreaker that sends them through to the final should the match finish in a scoreless draw. That seems unlikely though.
After both sides came close to scoring in the first half, but it was Barcelona who broke the tie in the 50th minute thanks to Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas. The goal was setup thanks to a bit of bad luck for the Madrid defense when Messi caught them out a bit, poking a 50/50 ball through to Fabregas. The midfielder was free on goal and calmly put his shot past Diego Lopez.
19-year-old Raphael Varane was the hero for Madrid in the 81st minute, scoring the equalizer off a set piece. Mesut Özil received the ball from an indirect free kick and placed a cross into the box where Varane out jumped two Barca defenders and headed the ball past Jose Manuel Pinto.
While Barcelona should probably have won the first leg outright, they're in a decent position heading into today's second leg.
As mentioned before, if the match finishes in a scoreless draw Barcelona will advance on away goals. Should the match finish 1-1 (2-2 on aggregate), the match would go to extra time. Any other draw in which Madrid scores two or more goals would see Los Blancos advance on away goals. If one side wins today's match outright, like if Madrid wins 8-0 or something crazy, they'll advance to the final.
Pretty simple right?
Should we get that 1-1 result, the two sides would play your standard 30 minutes of non-sudden death extra time. If neither team scores an the match remains tied at 1-1 after the extra 30 minutes then the match would be decided via a penalty shootout. Should both teams score and end up still tied after extra time, Real Madrid would advance on away goals. If either team is leading after extra time, it's over.
Be sure to read that over carefully, there will be a test later.
Hopefully that all makes sense and you're not currently laying on the couch or floor with a cold wash cloth on your head. If you are, I apologize and hope you feel better by kick-off.