Atletico out to end 10-year winless run at Camp Nou in Copa

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 07, 2017 11:24 AM
Atletico out to end 10-year winless run at Camp Nou in Copa
FC Barcelona's Leo Messi, center, duels for the ball with Atletico de Madrid Gabriel Fernandez 'Gabi', left, during a Spanish Copa del Rey semifinal first round soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer

 

MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid must do something it hasn't done in more than a decade if it wants to advance to the Copa del Rey final — beat Barcelona at Camp Nou.

It also needs to score at least two goals to have any chance of reversing the 2-1 first-leg loss in Madrid, something it hasn't done in eight years at the stadium.

If Atletico can't do either on Tuesday, it will not appear in the Copa final for the first time since it triumphed in 2013, while Barcelona will stay on track for a third straight Copa del Rey title.

"We hope it's at least another year before they beat us again," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on Monday.

Barcelona can advance to its fourth straight Copa final with a draw or even a 1-0 loss, and Luis Enrique likes his chances.

"They need to win and to score at least two goals, so maybe we will see an Atletico that takes more risks," he said. "We always see Atletico playing well, but usually they are settled on their own field. In this game we will likely see new situations."

Atletico coach Diego Simeone would not say if they will be changing tactics.

"We will face a powerful team, maybe the best in the world," Simeone said. "It will be ready to counterattack against any team that wants to pressure up front. We can say anything we want now, but we will have to see what actually happens tomorrow."

The last time Atletico scored twice at Camp Nou was in a 5-2 loss in the Spanish league in September 2009, when Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero got on the board. Atletico's last win at Camp Nou was in February 2006, also in the league, when Fernando Torres scored a brace.

Despite Atletico's inability to win in Barcelona in nearly 11 years, it has played tough at Camp Nou. A 1-1 draw there in 2014 clinched the league title for the first time in almost two decades. The teams drew by the same score in their first league meeting this season at Camp Nou.

"The result in the first leg was good for us, but I don't think there is any player in our team that thinks that this is a done deal," Luis Enrique said. "On the contrary, we are going to suffer, I'm certain. It would be ridiculous to think that it will be easy."

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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