Madrid clinch Copa del Rey

Ronaldo nets extra-time header for Los Blancos at the Mestalla

Last updated: 21st April 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Madrid clinch Copa del Rey

Ronaldo: Scored with a bullet header to clinch King's Cup

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored an extra-time header to clinch the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid following a 1-0 triumph over rivals Barcelona.

Just days after the weekend Clasico in La Liga and with the upcoming UEFA Champions League semi-final between the two rearing into view, Ronaldo nodded home a fine effort in the 103rd minute after an intense battle.

Madrid were on top in the opening 45 and were unlucky not to take the lead on the stroke of half-time but Pepe's header came back off the inside of the post.

Pep Guardiola rallied the troops at the break and the Catalans came out firing, with Iker Casillas making a string of smart saves.

But Jose Mourinho's side dug deep and after some fine interplay between Marcelo and Di Maria down the left, the Argentine whipped in a delicious cross that Ronaldo met with a bullet effort into the net.

Jose Manuel Pinto started in goal instead of Victor Valdes, as he had done all the way through the competition.

Meanwhile, Barca captain Carles Puyol was deemed unfit to start following his injury in Saturday night's 1-1 draw at Madrid in the Primera Division, so Javier Mascherano slotted in alongside Gerard Pique in the centre of defence.

Mourinho restored Mesut Ozil to his side after the Germany playmaker began Saturday's draw on the bench.

Saga

In this, the second of four Clasico meetings, with a two-legged semi-final to come in the Champions League starting next week, the Portuguese kept faith with Pepe in a three-man midfield shield alongside Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso.

And it worked early on as Madrid pushed back Barcelona, appearing to surprise the Catalans with their dynamic start to the game.

Ronaldo, playing up front as Mourinho opted to leave three strikers - Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema and Emmanuel Adebayor - on the bench, came close to giving his side the lead after 12 minutes when he beat Pinto from close range but saw Mascherano hack the ball off the line.

Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa was lucky to get away with a clear stamp on David Villa later in the half as things began to turn ugly.

The defender escaped without a caution, but both Pepe and Pedro found their way into the referee's book before the interval as the two teams continued to compete close to the edge.

But in football terms, Madrid had the edge. Pinto saved well from Ronaldo 10 minutes before the interval, but the stand-in keeper was badly-positioned just before the break and was lucky to see Pepe's header rebound off the post.

But Barca began the second half on the front foot, stepping up a gear following a disappointing opening 45 minutes.

Pedro fired just wide, Lionel Messi blasted over the bar and the Argentina forward was almost set up by Dani Alves as the Catalans found their rhythm.

And they thought they had gone ahead after 68 minutes when Villa, who had not scored for 10 games, latched onto a Messi through-ball after the Argentinian had brilliantly beaten three Madrid players, and slotted a low shot past Iker Casillas, but the assistant's flag was up and the Spain striker's effort was correctly ruled out.

Nevertheless, Barca were dominant now and that looked ominous for Madrid. Casillas made two fine saves within a minute to deny Messi and then Pedro, while the Argentinian was stopped in his tracks as he looked to waltz through the Madrid defence.

But Madrid weathered the storm and the score remained goalless after 90 minutes.

Chance

The first period of extra-time was dominated by Barca, but the best chance fell to Ronaldo, who raced clear down the right flank and charged into the area, only to drive a low angled shot just wide of the target.

But the Catalans failed to heed the warning and five minutes later, they were behind. Marcelo played a one-two with Di Maria, who then sent a deep, inviting cross into the area searching for Ronaldo, who rose majestically to power home a header at the far post.

Ronaldo should have wrapped it up two minutes before the end, but selfishly kept the ball in the area and his shot was eventually blocked.

But Madrid held on to seal a famous win and end a spell of almost three years without a trophy.

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Comments (16)

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Ac hillary Amkhonoh (Real Madrid fan) says...

The special one last night showed the whole world that Barca can be beaten. GO GO Madrid and win the UCL next month. Mou should continue to destroy barcas game of short passes by crowding the mid - field as he did last night.

Posted 06:10 21st April 2011

Oluwasegun Salawu (Chelsea fan) says...

Up Real! Its been a great week and still more to come. 3 games between the new Madrid team under the special one, coach Jose, Madrid lost 1, draw 1 and won 1. Isn't this great? Well, i look forward to games to come to come in the next few weeks. Jose is really a special one. And history is in making here once more. I hereby announce the beginning of a new era with the new Real Madrid over Bacelona

Posted 05:30 21st April 2011

Reza Kianmehr (Barcelona fan) says...

Congratulation to Real Madrid team , I think they tried their best, players and coach

Posted 04:47 21st April 2011

Mark Enn (Manchester United fan) says...

i'm glad mourinho got another one over on barcelona, they cannot just think that they are invincible and will beat anyone in the world. it is exciting times in madrid and a dream champions league final would be real vs man utd. bring it on!

Posted 03:03 21st April 2011

Aaron Lett (Barcelona fan) says...

Ok congrats Madrid but you all are the reason why fans are turning away from the came. Yes we want results inthe game but we also like to see great football.

Posted 02:30 21st April 2011

Raeal Tekkers (Manchester United fan) says...

All courtesy of Mourinho tactically the best manager at the moment really got the team to disrupt Barcelona's usual domination and flow . It seems aggressiveness is affective against Barcelona all you can do is pray for a lenient Referee

Posted 01:20 21st April 2011

Syed Ali (Manchester United fan) says...

Madrid were lucky to win. Clear goal ruled out as offside. Potentially 3 rm players could have been sent off. RM had the referee in their side. Barcelona were playing proper football while Madrid were playing chess, clearly in the wrong sport. Sad day for football.

Posted 01:01 21st April 2011

Ace Chitania (Arsenal fan) says...

well a loss for barcelona, is almost going to go unoticed. i woild suggest that if it was not for the support they got through fans Barcelona would not be the greatest team currently. their home wins outmatch their away losses, and this loss is not going to be a major talking. but one issue i want to raise is barcelona may be a brilliant team, but it is only down to i would say two figures within the team, messi and xavi, you take these players out of the equasion and your left with what i would consider a beatable side. i dont think their reign is goin to last. madrid are a force to reckon with. its a shame teams such as sevilla and atl madrid have not proceded to the top. if barca were to be placed in the premiership they would be fighting for the top six spots not no.1. and as for real madrid, even though the game on show was average showed that a fighting spirit can go along way and make a team like barcelona pay for a poorly played game, even with a strong squad.... ARSENAL may be regarded as the poor mans barca, but Barca are a one man talent...THE RED ARMY WILL MARCH ON....GOOOONERS!!!!!

Posted 00:36 21st April 2011

Kabo Modimoofile (Real Madrid fan) says...

xcellent football we saw tonight, interesting game technique concentration mentality very well shown by both teams...Barca pressing hard on to try pierce through the solid wall of Mourinho, Madrid pressing back,especially at the 88th 90th of the game. it was a 50 50 thing. At last, at last, Ronaldo brought it home. thanks sky sports 4 the game.

Posted 00:09 21st April 2011

Jack Jones (Real Madrid fan) says...

This is to all the barca fans who said our tactics were anti-football, in the end we won (deservedly) and proved that this is the way to beat barcerlona. In my eyes our performance was hermosa, hala Madrid.

Posted 00:01 21st April 2011

Emmanuel Ofori (Manchester United fan) says...

Hala Madrid! Jose is King once again, Serious tactics. Close up Loose up and the BAM. Best Game by Far. Compare to Arsenal vs Tettenham, another great Game. Greatest Night of Soccer for me.

Posted 23:50 20th April 2011

Benson Dotun (Arsenal fan) says...

..I think madrid really deserve to win

Posted 23:47 20th April 2011

Sean Harrison (Liverpool fan) says...

All clasico games will be played like the previous two games, jose and his boring tactics

Posted 23:46 20th April 2011

Jorge Jesus (Manchester City fan) says...

that was Mourinho at is best! just perfect, he start with same tactic as last saturday but the dinamism was even better, Guadiola lost tacticly. Pepe was amazing.

Posted 23:40 20th April 2011

Kas M (Barcelona fan) says...

Barca were dominant after the halftime interval and were very unlucky not to score.. well done madrid.. after spending 330 million euros, youve finally won something...the Copa Del Rey lol! Barca have the league and will win the champions league too. Poor performance from Villa.. I think Barca should sign llorente, cavani or preferably neymar to add some extra depth.

Posted 23:34 20th April 2011

Daniel Mbima says...

i knew madrid had these great dreams under their sleeves tonight. come on for your sure money bet on madrid. madrid forever. those teams we are meeting before the end of the season should be ware because we are on fire.

Posted 23:24 20th April 2011

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