Copa del Rey: Atlético 2 – 0 Real Betis
Atlético Madrid have taken a big step towards the semi final of the Copa del Rey by beating Real Betis and keeping another clean sheet.
At Cholo Castle the runners up of La Liga started ferociously and forced two goals early on, which might very well have already settled this two legged tie of the King’s Cup.
Atlético started aggressively and took the lead early on. After Godín had already hit the side netting, it was Radamel Falcao who did head the ball past Casto. The Colombian was at the end of a fantastic move set up by Gabi, Diego Costa and Raúl García to score his first ever goal in the Copa del Rey.
In the 24th minute Atlético doubled their lead. The hard working Diego Costa took on the entire Betis defence and saw his cross blocked, but the loose ball ended up before the feet of Filipe Luís who didn’t hesitate to slot the ball past Casto for the second time on Thursday night.
After going down two goals, it seemed Betis were finally able to shrug off their nerves and offer some resistance. They came incredibly close on four occasions within just five seconds, but Thibaut Courtois emerged victorious from an old fashioned goal mouth scramble.
Atleti missed chances with Raúl García ruled offside and Godín heading into the hands of Casto, but Betis were far from defeated and Rubén Castro missed an easy tap in by just an inch. Right after the break Betis again created a clear cut chance, but again Courtois showed why he’s one of Europe’s finest young goalkeepers.
The Rojiblancos had used a great amount of energy in the first half and were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure in the second. Simeone managed to lock down the game on the defensive end and Atleti held on for the 9th consecutive clean sheet at the Vicente Calderón, meaning Atleti haven’t conceded in over 14 hours of play in home games.
In the final minutes of the game the fresh legs of Koke and Cebolla Rodríguez inspired Atleti to try and force a decision, but despite efforts from Falcao and Mario Suárez no third goal was scored.
Next week Atlético and Betis will meet again for the return leg at the Benito Villamarín.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran (“70 Cata Díaz), Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Raúl García, Gabi, Mario, Arda (“83 Cebolla Rodríguez); Diego Costa (“73 Koke) and Falcao.
Goals: 1-0 Falcao (“12); 2-0 Filipe (“24)