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Dirty Tackle

Pepe steps on Lionel Messi’s hand because that’s what Pepe does

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

The first leg of Real Madrid's Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Barcelona once again carried out several El Clasico constants: There were dives, there were takedowns, there was complaining and, above all else, some wonderful and entertaining football. This time, however, Cristiano Ronaldo cast aside his twin brother Barry (for the first half at least) and opened the scoring in the 11th minute by putting the ball through 1998 hair model Jose Pinto's legs.

Real held on to its 1-0 lead until halftime, but as tends to happen in these matches, it disappeared soon after when Carles Puyol scored in the 49th minute. With Barca securing an away goal, tensions got hotter and another constant emerged: Angry Pepe decided to he needed to step up his stomping on people game.

So, in the 67th minute, after already being shown a yellow card in the 17th minute, he stepped on Lionel Messi's hand. The referee didn't see it, so Pepe (who has previously been banned for his expertise in back kicking) was able to stay on the pitch until he was subbed off in the 80th minute, but Messi would get his revenge by setting up Eric Abidal of all people for Barcelona's go-ahead goal in the 77th minute.

The first leg ended 2-1 in Barca's favor and proved yet another El Clasico constant: Messi doesn't get angry, he wins.

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