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Raul seals it for Real

Raul leaves Barca dejected
Raul leaves Barca dejected  


MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish international striker Raul scored a spectacular goal to confirm Real Madrid's place in the European Champions League final.

He slammed the ball into the top corner from outside the penalty area as Real beat Barcelona 3-1 on aggregate in the battle of Spain, prompting a huge celebration among 75,000 fans in the Bernabeu stadium.

The semifinal second leg had only been given the go-ahead earlier in the evening after two car bombs exploded near the stadium.

Leading 2-0 from last week's first leg in Barcelona, Real, in their centenary year, survived some scares before Raul struck in the 43rd minute, taking advantage of slack defending to pick up a loose ball before letting fly with his left foot.

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Barcelona replied three minutes after the break when Real defender Ivan Helguera turned Philip Cocu's cross-shot past his own keeper Cesar.

Barcelona pressed but Real, who have won Europe's top club competition a record eight times, held on.

And they are favourites to beat Bayer Leverkusen in the final at Glasgow's Hampden Park on May 15.





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