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Luis Suarez bags brace as Barcelona beat Real Madrid to reach Copa del Rey final

Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona maintained their stranglehold on the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win at Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi-final.

Barca, competition winners for the past four seasons, were held 1-1 in the first leg at the Nou Camp and were second best for large periods in the return before running out convincing 4-1 aggregate winners.

Suarez struck against the run of play early in the second half and after Raphael Varane’s own goal left Real a mountain to climb, the Uruguay striker converted a penalty, Panenka-style, to silence the Bernabeu.

Real banished memories of their 5-1 LaLiga defeat to Barca in September by shading the first leg earlier this month, but the visitors were clinical in the Spanish capital to seal a sixth successive final appearance.

The home side were aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty by the video assistant referee in the 14th minute.

Vinicius Junior’s tumble in the penalty area after Nelson Semedo’s challenge was referred back to VAR by match official Sanchez Martinez, who had initially appeared unmoved, but play continued.

Real’s best early efforts in a frenetic opening came through Vinicius Junior, who fired over the crossbar and had another shot saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Vinicius’ pace was causing the visitors problems. The Brazilian set up Karim Benzema, whose shot was comfortably saved by Ter Stegen, and then fired just over after another swift Real counter.

Barca had their moments in a goalless first half without creating a clear-cut chance, but Real, clearly intent on not relying on their away goal advantage, shaded it as the pace of an end-to-end encounter was unrelenting.

Benzema headed Toni Kroos’s free-kick narrowly over soon after the restart and at the other end Gerard Pique was off target with a similar effort from Lionel Messi’s set piece.

Barca then stunned the Bernabeu by snatching the lead in the 50th minute.

Luis Suarez, second right, is congratulated by Lionel Messi after opening the scoring against Real Madrid

Luis Suarez, second right, is congratulated by Lionel Messi after opening the scoring against Real Madrid (Andrea Comas/AP)

Suarez appeared well covered by Sergio Ramos when Ousmane Dembele’s cut back from the left reached him inside the area, but he shimmied to create space and side-footed home an emphatic finish.

The Uruguay striker maintained his impressive record at the Bernabeu by scoring his 17th goal in 18 visits.

There was no let-up. Barca were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty when Ivan Rakitic appeared to be fouled by Ramos, while Real were denied an equaliser by Ter Stegen’s brilliance as he kept out Sergio Reguilon’s header.

Vinicius went close again for the home side when his run carried him into the area, but his deflected shot curled agonisingly wide.

Luis Suarez, right, shows his joy at Raphael Varane's own goal

Luis Suarez, right, shows his joy at Raphael Varane’s own goal (Andrea Comas/AP)

Barca, outplayed for long periods, then dealt Real a hammer blow with their second goal on the night.

Dembele again was the provider as his precision pass into the area from the right was turned into his own net by the sliding Varane, who was under pressure from Suarez.

Barca sealed their place in the final when Suarez was fouled by Casemiro on the left edge of the box and then dinked home his spot-kick straight down the middle.