Barcelona beat Atletico in 1st leg of Copa del Rey quarters

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Barcelona, Jan 22: Lionel Messi's goal with five minutes of regulation time left gave FC Barcelona a 1-0 victory over La Liga holders Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal clash.

Juanfran Torres took down Barca's Sergio Busquets in the area in the 85th minute Wednesday night, setting up a penalty kick for the Argentine superstar.

Messi scored against Atletico Madrid in Copa del Rey quarters

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak stopped the initial shot, but Messi made no mistake with the rebound to give the Catalans a slender advantage.

The visitors lost at the Nou Camp for the second time in 10 days, after a 1-3 defeat in La Liga action.

Seeking to avoid a repeat of the previous match, Atletico coach Diego Simeone ordered his team to go on the attack, rather than hang back and hope to repel the high-powered Barcelona offence.

Atletico's efforts made little impact, however, as the best scoring chance of the first half went to Barca's Luis Suarez, whose shot went sailing over the net.

Atletico, last year's La Liga champions, played more conservatively in the second half.

The second leg is set for Wednesday at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid.

IANS

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