Copa del Rey: Real Madrid 3 – 0 Atlético
Atlético crushed at the Bernabeu in semi final first leg
Lady luck was smiling favourably on Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening, as two deflections sent our bitter rivals on their way to a 3-0 lead over Atleti in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.
Atleti were tested from the off, and had to resist numerous attempts on goal from the Real Madrid front line. Benzema came close with a header, and Modric fired a shot just wide after a clever free kick from Di Maria.
The opening goal came in the 17th minute, and it had more than just a touch of good fortune about it. The ball dropped to Pepe on the edge of the area, who powered towards the edge of the Atleti area. His shot took a massive deflection off of Emiliano Insua, and wrong-footed Courtois, who could do nothing about the change of direction.
The game then took a bit of a nasty turn, with a lot happening off the ball. Arbeloa should perhaps have been sent off twice for skirmishes with Diego Costa, while our Brazilian had more than one argument with his compatriot Pepe in the Real Madrid defence.
Real’s attack wasn’t an innocent party either, and on more than once occasion left their leg in. Benzema stamped all over Courtois during one attack and it was lucky for los Blancos that the referees didn’t pick up on it.
If Atleti went in with some hope at half-time, it was quickly extinguished in the minutes after the restart. The young starlet Jesé made his mark on the game as he bagged the second goal of the match in the 57th minute.
Following an excellent through ball from Di Maria, which nutmegged Cebolla, Jesé ran onto the ball and managed to get his toe on it. Courtois couldn’t get his big frame down quick enough and let the ball slide under him, handing Real Madrid a two-goal lead.
Real Madrid almost added to their lead a few minutes later, after Pepe managed to stick his leg out and get on the end of a Di Maria cross – however he couldn’t steer the ball on target.
Los Rojiblancos almost got the away goal they so dearly coveted a few minutes after, with Diego Costa doing brilliantly to win a corner at the expense of Coentrao.
The corner was whipped in with some pace, and Godín got a beautiful head on the cross, only for Modric to clear the ball off the line, sparing the blushes of a beaten Iker Casillas. This was the best chance of the game for Atleti.
Things went from bad to worse a few minutes later, after the Real Madrid substitute Moratta picked up the ball outside the Atleti box. He fired an attempt towards goal, which was blocked by the Atleti defence, only for the ball to drop for Di Maria even further out.
The Argentinean took a mad swipe at the ball, which again took a massive deflection off of Miranda, wrong-footing Courtois again in the process, and nestling in the back of the net to make it 3-0. Another goal that had more than just a touch of fortune about it, and another that our Belgian superkeeper could do very little about.
Atleti were lucky to not fall even further behind, with attempts from Ronaldo and Di Maria firing just wide in the closing stages.
Real Madrid will visit the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday with a healthy lead, and Atleti will need to do something that no team has done so far this season – score against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. Three times.
|Insua (o.g.) 17'|
|Miranda (o.g.) 73'|
|Copa del Rey|
|05 February 2014|
|Di Maria (81')|
|Raul Garcia (70')|
|C Rodriguez (46')|