José Mourinho must be waking up this morning, scratching his head and wondering how his side did not advance to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey as he saw his side rue a series of glorious chances in last night's typically enthralling and feisty El Clásico encounter.
Two goals at the end of the first half from Pedro and Dani Alves appeared to have settled the tie in the Catalans's favour but a spirited fight-back from Real Madrid in the second half, spearheaded by substitute Karim Benzema, saw the game end in a 2-2 draw, a result which saw the holders of the competition usurped from their crown.
Having secured an impressive 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu a week earlier, Barcelona were expected to comfortably advance to the next stage, the Camp Nou serving as their fortress in which they have not been defeated for 17 months since the shock 2-0 league defeat to Hercules at the start of last season. They were also buoyed by the fact that Real Madrid had only won one of the previous 14 encounters between the sides; the 1-0 victory which secured the trophy for Los Blancos last April.
Guardiola named an unchanged side from the first leg whilst Mourinho opted to start Gonzalo Higuain up front whilst Fabio Coentrao was preferred to Marcelo at left-back. And the Real Madrid boss's changes nearly paid dividends as early as the twelfth second when Higuain capitalised upon hesitance in the Barcelona defence by Gerard Piqué but he skewed his shot wide with only Pinto to beat. It was an early let-off for Los Blaugranes who had nearly allowed an early mistake prove costly as it had done in the league match in the Bernabeu when Benzema had opened the scoring after only 21 seconds.
Real Madrid continued to dominate the early stages, keen to level the tie on aggregate and Pinto was forced to pull off an outstanding point-blank save to deny Higuain from Xabi Alonso's whipped free-kick. Barcelona were struggling to make their final passes count and Real Madrid were looking dangerous every time they ventured forward with Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil in an unforgiving mood.
It was in fact the German playmaker, Ozil, who came the closest to opening the scoring when he dipped inside two Barcelona players and unleashed a venomous, swerving left-footed effort from 30 yards which struck the inside of the woodwork, leaving Pinto stranded. Cristiano Ronaldo also had two ambitious attempts at Pinto's goal as Madrid desperately tried to break the deadlock before Pinto inexplicably fumbled a clearance to Higuain six yards out, but the Argentine forward could only direct his effort at the legs of the Spanish keeper.
Barcelona were living dangerously but they opened the scoring with their first meaningful attack of the game when Messi began one of his dazzling runs towards the edge of the box before chipping a ball into the path of the onrushing Pedro, who emphatically slotted home to lift the tension from the home crowd and spark wild celebrations. The Madrid players and manager alike, looked bemused as they had seen their profligacy punished from one moment of clinical attacking play.
Controversy ensued when Lassana Diarra somehow escaped a second yellow card after he chopped down Messi moments before the half-time whistle, inciting both sets of players to surround the referee and vent their frustrations.
From the resulting free-kick, Xavi's cross was deflected off the chest off Diarra to the corner of the penalty box where Dani Alves unleashed a rasping drive which arrowed straight into the top left-hand corner with Casillas grasping at thin air. It was the last kick of the first-half and with Barcelona leading 4-1 on aggregate, there appeared no way back for Madrid who had the right to feel aggrieved after their impressive first-half performance.
Real Madrid refused to give up hope though and they thought they had reduced the deficit in the 53rd minute when Sergio Ramos's header found the net but the goal was disallowed as the Spanish international defender was adjudged to have fouled his marker in the build-up.
With 22 minutes remaining on the clock however, Madrid were given a ray of hope through their lethal talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, who latched onto Ozil's incise through ball before rounding Pinto and coolly placing the ball into the far corner.
Mourinho's side continued to push forward and four minutes later they scored a second when Pique's clearance was headed over the top of the Barcelona defence into the path of Benzema, who casually flicked the ball over Carles Puyol's head, controlling with his knee and volleying exquisitely past Pinto.
It set up a frenetic end to the match as Real Madrid knew that a third goal would take them through to the semi-finals on the away goals rule. Guardiola sent on Javier Mascherano for the disappointing Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona looked to cling on to their slim advantage.
In truth, chances were few and far between in the closing stages although Messi watched two of his left-footed efforts narrowly evade the woodwork. Madrid's frustration was topped off in the 89th minute when Sergio Ramos was dismissed after he had raised an arm to the face of Sergio Busquets and received a second caution.
Whilst Real Madrid can certainly take a moral victory from their comeback and performance, it is Barcelona who march on to the semi-finals where they will face Valencia or Levante.