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PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

Qualifying for the cup final seems to inspire Barcelona to victory in the league too. That happened in the 2008/09 season and also a year ago, which bodes well for this weekend's trip to Osasuna.

1-1 in Mallorca... and 2-0 against Athletic Bilbao

The first cup final qualification of the Guardiola era came on March 4, 2009. That day, Pinto was the hero in Mallorca when his late penalty save meant FC Barcelona were off to the final in Valencia. Three days after that emotional semi final, Barça beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 at the Camp Nou in a Liga fixture, with goals scored by Busquets and Messi.

3-0 in Almeria... and 3-0 against Atlético Madrid

Two years later, on February 2, 2011, FC Barcelona once again qualified for the cup final. This time their semi final victim was Almeria, who they beat 3-0 after already having done most of the work in the first leg, where they won 5-0 at the Camp Nou. Like in 2009, the team responded with a league win three days later when they entertained Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou. A hat-trick from Messi decided a 3-0 win against the mattress-makers.

2-0 against Valencia... and in Pamplona?

On Saturday, three days after beating Valencia 2-0 in the semi final second leg, Barça will be hoping history can repeat itself. The circumstances are not quite the same, because this time the cup match was played at the Camp Nou and the league match will be away from home. But despite these two small differences, the challenge is just the same.

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