Dashed dreams of La Decima: Real Madrid's 11 years of hurt in Europe
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2010/11 (Semi-finals vs Barcelona)
Score: Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona; Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid (Barcelona win 3-1 on aggregate)
La Liga position: 2nd
Any other business? Real did, at least, outdo Barca on one stage – Ronaldo’s extra-time goal against Pep Guardiola’s men securing a first Copa del Rey title in 18 years.
La Liga’s giants went head-to-head in Real’s first all-Spanish tie since the 2000 final against Valencia. This was progress of sorts: revenge over Lyon and a straightforward win over Spurs had, at long last propelled them beyond the last 16. Jose Mourinho was in charge by now; his alma mater, Barca, had won the league by four points the previous season.
The damage in this double-pronged Clasico was done at the end of the first leg. Things had been pretty tight in an increasingly tetchy clash at the Bernabeu, Mourinho doing a decent enough job at smothering Lionel Messi and pals. Then, not for the first time, a rush of blood from Pepe turned things. His high challenge on Dani Alves in the 62nd minute earned him a straight red, and Mourinho’s inevitable protests secured the same for him. Messi went on to score twice, his second a superb solo effort, and set Real an astronomical task for the second leg.
That job was made harder when Pedro rifled Barca into the lead at the Camp Nou on 54 minutes. Marcelo equalised shortly afterwards, but Real never really looked like coming up with the two further goals they needed.