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MADRID: Barcelona defeated Malaga 4-2 yesterday to set-up a mouthwatering Spanish Cup semi-final clash against bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona, who suffered their first La Liga defeat of the campaign last weekend, saw off a battling Malaga in their quarter-final second leg tie after the two sides had been locked 2-2 from the first meeting.
Defending champions Barcelona went ahead on the night after just nine minutes when Pedro Rodriguez headed in a cross from Dani Alves after good work by Xavi.
But Joaquin Sanchez, with a right-foot drive, levelled for Malaga three minutes later.
Four minutes after the interval, Gerard Pique, who became a father for the first time this week when pop star girlfriend Shakira gave birth to a son, marked the occasion by volleying in Barcelona’s second.
Roque Santa Cruz controversially equalised in the 68th minute after a Malaga counter-attack.
But Barcelona were furious that Cesc Fabregas had not been awarded a penalty when he was stamped on by Wellington.
Eight minutes later Andres Iniesta made it 3-2 after a smart one-two with Fabregas before Lionel Messi grabbed Barcelona’s fourth of the night, heading in an 80th-minute cross from Iniesta for a 6-4 aggregate.
In the night’s other tie, Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 at Real Betis for a 3-1 aggregate and a semi-final clash against Sevilla.