Eder Militao own goal gives Barcelona the upper hand in Copa del Rey semi-final

Barcelona took a big step towards the Copa del Rey final with a 1-0 win at Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final.

Eder Militao’s first-half own goal gave Xavi’s side an advantage to take back to the Nou Camp as they halted their mini slump with victory on the road.

Defeat to Manchester United last week had ended Barca’s hopes of Europa League glory and a shock loss at Almeria on Sunday had allowed Real to cut the gap at the top of LaLiga to seven points.

But the visitors, who were without top-scorer Robert Lewandowski due to injury, returned to winning ways to get their domestic double bid back on track.

They got some luck with the goal, which came when Franck Kessie’s shot was saved by Thibaut Courtois, rebounded off Militao’s leg and bounced into the net. The linesman raised his flag, but VAR eventually determined Kessie was onside.

Real, who had not lost at home since last March, could not break down a determined Barcelona defence and must now go and win in the Nou Camp to reach a first Copa del Rey final since 2014.