Copa del Rey semis to feature El Clasico

Copa del Rey semis to feature El Clasico

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scored twice to help the European champions secure a 3-1 victory over Girona on Thursday as they progressed to the Copa del Rey semifinals 7-3 on aggregate.

The two teams will only have three days to recover before they face each other again when Madrid host Barcelona in La Liga on March 2.

The first-leg tie will take place at the Camp Nou on 6/7 February with the second-leg to follow at the Santiago Bernabeu on the 27/28 February.

Barcelona director Guillermo Amor said: "Real Madrid are playing well and they will be the Madrid team we always expect - a group of winners that competes for everything, that can give us a scare if we are not ready to work".

Friday's semifinal draw has now pitted the pair together, with Real Betis and Valencia contesting the other tie in Spain's premier knockout cup.

"We are delighted with him for how he manages the squad and that is important because there are times when it is not easy to live with so many players of that level and that everyone is happy".

Barcelona are now top of the La Liga table, with Real Madrid 10 points behind in third place.

The El Clasico will hold over two legs as Los Blanocs will be looking to unseat La Blaugrana as champions over the last four years.

Valencia scored two late goals to overcome Getafe on Tuesday and Real Betis needed extra time to knock out Espanyol.

Real Madrid's upcoming fixture list does not paint a prettier picture.

The final will be on May 25 at Benito Villamarin Stadium in Seville, a 61,000-capacity venue that is home to Betis. Barcelona have won it a record 30 times.

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