BARCELONA: Barcelona beat Valencia 1-0 on Thursday thanks to a diving header from insatiable striker Luis Suarez to stay on course for a place in the King's Cup final for a record fifth consecutive year.
Suarez broke Valencia's resolve in the semi-final first leg by leaping to meet a cross from Lionel Messi in the 67th minute, scoring a 12th goal in 10 games in all competitions to leave Valencia needing to win by two goals in next Thursday's second leg at Mestalla.
Despite being a Cup semi-final against one of the top teams in the league, only 50,000 fans made it to Barca's 99,000-capacity Nou Camp stadium after heavy rain throughout the day.
Barca defender Sergi Roberto risked getting sent off but was only booked for a wild lunge on Andreas Pereira, who was unable to come out in the second half and had to be substituted.
Valencia were trounced 7-0 on their last Cup visit to Barcelona when Gary Neville was in charge and coach Marcelino opted for a cautious approach.
The visitors' best chances came from distance strikes at goal, with Martin Montoya and Francis Coquelin narrowly missing the target either side of halftime.
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