By Daniel Teo
If Pep Guardiola's men do go on and lift the Champions League trophy come 28 May at Wembley - and they look strong favourites to - their triumph would be tarnished by the incidents at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
Thanks to an incredible Lionel Messi double, the Catalan outfit look set for a final date with Manchester United, who themselves took a 2-0 lead against Schalke in the other semi-final on Tuesday.
Like most football fans, I am an ardent admirer of Barcelona. However, it was an unedifying sight to see some of the planet's most talented players rolling around in false agony.
Jose Mourinho was always going to set his Galaticos out to frustrate and break down the free flowing play of Messi and company. In fact, that is what we have come to expect of the Portuguese from his days at Chelsea.
But the manner in which Guardiola's men responded to the physicality dished on them by the men in white was unexpected. Instead of teaching Mourinho's men a footballing lesson or two, Barcelona decided to exhibit the ugly side of their game to the millions of watching fans around the world.
Not only did they kiss the green of the Bernabeu all night and make a meal out of the every Madrid tackle, the Barcelona players made full use of their pace to surround referee Wolfgang Stark whenever a decision was given against them.
And no better example than on the hour-mark, when Stark dished out a red-card to a bemused Pepe, whose one-footed tackle on Alves was deserving of a yellow at most. But with the German besieged by a sea of blue and red, his decision to dismiss the Portuguese came as no surprise.
The dismissal proved to be the pivotal moment of the encounter, as Messi went on to expose the shorthanded Madrid defence twice to hand his side a 2-0 lead heading into the second-leg at the Nou Camp next Tuesday.
Mourinho's reaction was understandable, as he looked back on Chelsea's semi-final exit at the hands of Barcelona in 2009, where the Blues had four legitimate penalty appeals waved away by referee Tom Ovrebo before Andres Iniesta's injury-time strike earned Barca an away-goals win.
The Catalans would go on to beat Manchester United in the final.
This time, the Special One felt his side were the victims of Barcelona's influence on referees as Madrid's Champions League hopes lay in tatters.
The Portuguese said: "Josep Guardiola is a fantastic football coach, but he has won one Champions League which would embarrass me after the scandal at Stamford Bridge and this year, if he wins it again, it will be after the scandal at the Bernabeu.
"I hope that one day he will win a clean Champions League, with no incidents behind it."
It is a shame that Barcelona, whose footballing qualities alone could easily win them the competition, have played such a shameful role in another scandal that could potentially tarnish their Champions League triumph - should they go all the way.
But what has happened at the Bernabeu, has happened.
Now lets hope that Barcelona realign their focus back on playing the beautiful football we so love and win the Champions League in style.