Copa del Rey final

Ronaldo's late goal gives Real Madrid win over Barcelona in Copa del Rey

Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid (after extra time)

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, left, and Pepe celebrate with the trophy after winning the Copa del Rey against Barcelona. Photograph: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

Real Madrid claimed their first trophy under José Mourinho when Cristiano Ronaldo's dramatic extra-time winner secured a 1-0 victory over Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey tonight.

With penalties looming in a tense and occasionally brutal clash at Valencia's Mestalla stadium, the Portuguese forward leaped to crash home a 103rd-minute header from Angel Di María's superb deep centre. Di María was later sent off after receiving his second yellow card just before the end of extra time.

Real's first domestic cup since 1993 came in Mourinho's debut season since joining from Internazionale, denying Pep Guardiola's Barça, who lead La Liga by eight points, the chance of a second treble in three seasons. The Spanish giants are also due to meet in the two-legged Champions League semi-final.

"It's a very important title; we're going to enjoy it," Ronaldo said. "Mourinho has done a good job. He's helped us a lot. Barça played very well but, as you know, the team who scores wins."

In a festive atmosphere in the Mediterranean port city, one half of the 55,000-capacity stadium was decked out in the claret and blue of Barça and draped in Catalan flags, while the other was a sea of white flecked with the yellow and gold of Spain.

Barça had six players from Spain's World Cup-winning squad in their starting 11 and Real four but any memories of shared glory in South Africa seemed far from their minds in an attritional first half-hour. Real successfully closed down Barça's creative midfielders and pacy forwards and had much the better of the first half before Pepe crashed a header off the post in the 44th minute with the goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto well beaten.

Barça had failed to muster a shot on target but the second period was a different story and they dominated possession, Andrés Iniesta and Pedro forcing fine saves from Iker Casillas.

However, even Lionel Messi was unable to break the deadlock and Ronaldo almost put Real ahead when he sped on to Xabi Alonso's pass in the eighth minute of extra time but his arrowed drive whistled wide. He made no mistake five minutes later and his powerful header sent the white half of the stadium into raptures and had them singing Mourinho's name long after the Barça fans had trooped dejectedly into the night.


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  • snappinwrappin

    21 April 2011 12:39AM

    T'was an awful game (especially compared to Spurs v Arsenal).

    As fantastic as Barcelona are, they have no 'Plan B', and after Real scored, there was no coming back.

  • philadelphia

    21 April 2011 12:39AM

    As far as I know, no one has ever won a trophy on paper. So keep your "they bought it" comments to yourself. That argument never makes any sense.

  • ahsanib

    21 April 2011 12:43AM

    Congrats to Madrid, deserved win.

    I thought Barca were too passive in the first half but clicked into gear in the second and ET. But it just didn't happen. No harm in that -- everyone ran and tried their hearts out. Could Villa and Pedro (esp in 1st half) played better? Of course. But everyone showed up, and that's all you can ask. Pep+Tito have some homework to do for the CL. And the big runs need rest.

    And as sick as this makes me -- Ronaldo was very good today. Easily his best game against Barca.

    Bah.

  • MawalTrees

    21 April 2011 12:43AM

    The next two games should now be explosive. Barca have yet to win, the odds on that must have been pretty decent. Mourinho has ballz of steel to control that previously squad of out of control prima donnas in this manner.

  • skipissatan

    21 April 2011 12:45AM

    So can we now stop refering to Barca as the best side ever please. Posession stats don't mean anything and the best side in the world wouldn't be losing to a Madrid side in progress (although a very expensive one) or narrowly defeating a 10 man Arsenal who can't hold onto a lead to save their lives.

    Also, this kind of thing is why the premiership is the most watched league in the world.

  • NotaSeed

    21 April 2011 12:45AM

    Barcelona looked a bit toothless tonight. Possibly because they're all knackered? You really have to convert dominant possession and play into chances and they didn't create much.

  • Tamales

    21 April 2011 12:45AM

    Who knew that buying the best players in the world and getting the best manager in the world led to trophies?

    Aren't the best players in the world Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi?

  • kptn82

    21 April 2011 12:48AM

    Very disappointed, truly the game of two halves, Real could have won it in the first half while Barca could have got it in the second half.

    My man of the match definitely is Iker Casillas, true legend on both side of the divide.

    Congrats Madrid.

    Barca can do it. Two to go.

  • Tamales

    21 April 2011 12:50AM

    But enough trolling. I thought that it was an interesting, intense game. The 1st half was all about Madrid, the 2nd half was all about Barca, and the ET was all about Madrid again and that's why they won in the end. Casillas made some top draw saves which kept Madrid in the game when Barca were knocking (with a battering ram) on the door. I wonder if Madrid were tired in the 2nd half or were just preserving energy for the endgame. Anyway, bring the next el Clasico!

  • pirana

    21 April 2011 12:51AM

    So I've to sit through another two matches of that? Oh goody!

    Well done Real Madrid.

    Tamales
    So the best paid sports team on Earth loses their first trophy this season


    Real Madrid is a close second on that best paid list, give it a rest.

    So, can we now say Real Madrid is the "best team ever"?

  • seastorm

    21 April 2011 12:51AM

    Real deserved it. Felt they had the better chances on Saturday too in terms of corners and free-kicks. Referee was trigger happy. Barca at home now for second leg of Champions League which could prove crucial.

    Two down, two to go - and boy are both sets of players getting cranky already!

  • bellota

    21 April 2011 12:53AM

    yeah, a good team, but Real Madrid win "Hala Madrid". We are Copa del Rey Champion. I´m a spanish Real Madrid fan. Well, good match, but Jose Mouriño is the biggest coach, The Mouriño´s Legend. In England you know him. "Hala Madrid". I hope to win the semi-final European Champion. We can do it

  • Dioxins

    21 April 2011 12:54AM

    Nowhere nearly as an exciting contest as spurs/arsenal but almost as absorbing. Amazing seeing the best team in the world blunted by brilliant tactics. It may not be pretty but so what, you can't beat them at their own game. I'd say overall that madrid were the better team on the day even with a defensive/counterattacking strategy were the more exciting team whilst barca never looked threatening.

    Bring on the CL!

  • sujay7pires

    21 April 2011 12:55AM

    Real deserved it. Felt they had the better chances on Saturday too in terms of corners and free-kicks

    Casillas single handedly kept Real in the game. Shouldn't have even reached extra time if not for Casillas' heroics. Oh and Ronaldo tried his best to mess things up didn't he? Missed some sitters.

  • skipissatan

    21 April 2011 12:58AM

    hey jose, thanks for the negative football. ease up on the negative/defensive tactics and let the players play!

    Defending is part of playing football. So is shooting, and Madrid did both of those things better than Barca.

  • MNoone

    21 April 2011 12:59AM

    Boy, that was nasty. Hard to believe some of these players play together in the National Team. Congratulations to Real Madrid.

  • cozumel

    21 April 2011 1:01AM

    In the last 2 games against Barca, Mourinho devised a successful plan-play cattenacio and try to score on the counter. It worked today once, against a visibly tired Barca defense. For most of the second half it looked like Barca were going to bust the game wide open but Real played their hearts out and managed to survive. Pep will have to find an answer to Mourinho's cattenacio in the next two games. Barca glaring deficiency is the lack of height upfront which eliminates crossing for header scoring. It's very difficult to slice through so many defenders unless everybody plays well and neither Villa or Messi played particularly well. Mourinho is very comfortable parking the bus, and it's the second game in 4 days in which Pep had no good answer.

  • ForeBarca

    21 April 2011 1:02AM

    On one hand, hats off to Real for taking the game to Barcelona. Either Pepe or Casillas could have been easily nominated for holding Barca at bay.
    On the other hand, why did:
    1. Messi not play as a false striker as he did against Manchester United in 2009 in Rome?
    2. Why did not Pep Guardiola not bring Keita in the second half?
    3. Is Barca's cantera all that it is claimed to be? If yes, why does Barca seem to have a superb first team but lacks depth in the second? Maschearano as a centre back?!!!!

  • sujay7pires

    21 April 2011 1:02AM

    Tamales
    21 April 2011 12:32AM
    So the best paid sports team on Earth loses their first trophy this season. Two to go

    Barcelona, Real overtake Yankees as top wage payers.

    If the 2 best paid teams in the World serve up that kind of football and try to sell it as a "Clasico" the Yankees must feel like they lost on something there.

    Yankees play baseball right? Oh, I see it now.

  • MNoone

    21 April 2011 1:03AM


    @cocaineandheroin
    sid lowe is probably crying his eyes out

    all you tiki taka - possession football fanatics can stick that up your ****

    and johan cryuff and his elitist views can stick taht up his ****


    whoa there! Ease up on the cocaine and heroine already.

  • sujay7pires

    21 April 2011 1:03AM

    Either Pepe or Casillas could have been easily nominated for holding Barca at bay

    Pepe should have been off on about 18 minutes. Nearly broke Messi's leg.

  • northmind

    21 April 2011 1:04AM

    I don't care if they didn't score, what Barcelona did in the second half was tremendous. And I've always liked poets more than armies.

    Also, let me say that Cristiano Ronaldo scored because he was way taller than Adriano. What if Abidal had been there...

  • SpursFan007

    21 April 2011 1:06AM

    Congratulation to Real MAdrid, win is win. But the way they did it, is shity.... It's not football.... Cowardice, that is. All behind the ball and obstructioning of Barca's play... And then such tactician gets lauded as the best in the world... Sure....

    This Cup one is the least important trophy; The Champions League and the League are two much more important competitions. Domestic league seems to be in Barca's hands, and the CL finals spot will show who's the better.

  • Tamales

    21 April 2011 1:06AM

    @sujay7pires

    Why do you bother to watch the games, let alone comment on them, when you clearly hate it? It cannot be very good for your health, you know.

  • BarcaFanNewYork

    21 April 2011 1:08AM

    So playing 10 men in 2 banks of 5 within 40 yards of your own goal, kicking and stamping on ankles (Messi), having the keeper deliver a blinder, playing 3 CDMs, the only way to defeat Barcelona?

    Carvalho, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa are despicable human beings. Real low life scum

  • otmshank

    21 April 2011 1:11AM

    Only direct running from Messi or Iniesta caused Madrid problems. Does Pep have an answer or will he become Wenger-lite (measured in terms of intransigence) for this series of clasicos?

  • skipissatan

    21 April 2011 1:11AM

    Ease up on the cocaine and heroine already.

    Good advice. I try to limit my daily intake of female protagonists, especially if they are fried.

  • MNoone

    21 April 2011 1:12AM

    Oh, and to all the Barca supporting "glory-hunters" on here - Get the hell out of this blog, unless you can provide some proof that you have some connection to Barcelona. But feel free to comment supporting Madrid because that is not considered glory-hunting. Why? Because I say so.

  • skipissatan

    21 April 2011 1:14AM

    Carvalho, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa are despicable human beings. Real low life scum

    Because of course the likes of mascherano are completely innocent...I see the anfield sniper has made the trip with him...

  • sujay7pires

    21 April 2011 1:14AM

    Tamales
    21 April 2011 1:06AM
    @sujay7pires

    Why do you bother to watch the games, let alone comment on them, when you clearly hate it? It cannot be very good for your health, you know.

    Because I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. The Clasicos before were far far better and I'm including the ones which even Real won. They were a lot more entertaining.

    Because like to watch players like Ronaldo, Oezil (who I've been watching for almost 5 years now), Adebayor, Di'Maria (inspite of his dives) etc playing football.

  • patsyloho1989

    21 April 2011 1:15AM

    ricardo carvalho what a player his slide tackles are beautiful, should be interesting cham league semi now, wonder what score would suit jose in 1st leg at home, 0 0 possibly???

  • prawesh1

    21 April 2011 1:15AM

    tired of tiki taka football..i m more a fan of the tottenham and man utd in their prime brand of attacking football...4-5 swift slick moves ending wid a shot on goal...now thats whats exciting and sexy..no need to waste 20 -30 passes wen u can be equally exciting wid just 4-5 flowing moves....tiki taka is boring..beautiful but boring....

  • UMDstudent

    21 April 2011 1:17AM

    Every single time the referee blew his whistle he was surrounded by half the players on the field. Disgusting behavior from all of them and it was ten times worse than anything you would ever see in the EPL

  • BarcaFanNewYork

    21 April 2011 1:17AM

    Messi should play on the right wing and Pedro should play on the left and Villa center. That should provide width. False 9 wont work with 3 CDMs.

    If Madrid wants to crowd the center let Messi be on one of the wings and Pedro on another.

    Why was Xabi not sent off for two yellow card worthy offences after he had already got a yellow. The score was 0-0 at that time (beginning of extra time, remember the rugby tackle on Iniesta? )

  • skipissatan

    21 April 2011 1:18AM

    Oh, and to all the Barca supporting "glory-hunters" on here - Get the hell out of this blog, unless you can provide some proof that you have some connection to Barcelona. But feel free to comment supporting Madrid because that is not considered glory-hunting. Why? Because I say so.

    Come on MNoone. Stop misrepresenting my position. Claiming to supporting any successful side which you have no link to is a bit off, especially if you've never actually been to a game. Real Madrid fans are frequently a vile glory hunting lot too...it's just they've been quiet as it's been a while since they've won anything until tonight so they are less annoying about "their superiority".

  • otmshank

    21 April 2011 1:18AM

    Heh Heh. Interesting to see some people who claim to be supporters of a small lower division club always appear on these blogs and pour bile on Barcelona.

  • cowmonkey

    21 April 2011 1:19AM

    So, half-way through the four games, Barca have won the league and Real the cup. If anyone thinks that this means more to the managers or players than emerging from this series of games as Champions League winners then you really are only fooling yourself.

    For what it's worth, I think Real have the edge given the way they've scored late in the last two games. Barca maybe showed their hand too much in the 5-0 thrashing, but we shall see. The next two games are the ones that count, that's for certain.

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