Barcelona put disappointing back-to-back defeats firmly in the proverbial rearview mirror with a classic rearguard 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Real Madrid came out of the blocks with plenty of attacking intent as they went in search of some revenge, having been thoroughly embarrassed by Barça in the Spanish Super Cup Final back in January.
Los Blancos’ celebrations were short-lived though, as the Frenchman had strayed offside.
As Liverpool found out in the UEFA Champions League, sometimes the worst thing you can do is score against Real Madrid, but Barcelona failed to heed the warning from Anfield and on 27 minutes took the lead against the run of play.
The goal was originally ruled out for offside, but a quick VAR check confirmed the Ivorian was onside, and the goal was given.
Even the most staunch of Barça fans would have been forgiven for fearing a severely blunted attack without marksman Robert Lewandowski, who missed out through injury, even more so considering that in three previous matches against Spanish opposition without the Polish international this season, Barcelona have won by a narrow one-goal margin.
No surprise then that Barça managed to repeat the same scoreline without their talisman and resigned Real Madrid to their first defeat on home soil in 11 months.