It’s an upset at the Nou Camp, with Real Madrid getting a deserved 3-1 win against holders the Copa del Rey, Barcelona, and sending Madrid into the finals of the tournament. Barca started the match surprisingly sloppy opposed to their normal perfection, which proved to be huge for Madrid in the thirteenth minute when Carles Puyol couldn’t trap a back pass and the ball fell into the path of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo took the ball up the field and forced Gerard Pique to trip him inside the penalty area. Referee Alberto Mallenco awarded a penalty, which Ronaldo coolly slotted past Barca goalkeeper Jose Pinto.
After the goal Barca looked like they would equalize, but Madrid cut off all of Barca’s through balls and the closest Barca came to scoring was an Andres Iniesta shot from outside the box that fizzed just wide of the post. Towards the end of the first half Barca settled back and tried to play their usual tiki-taka style game, but Madrid kept on intercepting their passes and the first half ended 1-0 Madrid.
Barca started the second half exactly like they started the first, lackluster, and they could barely complete a pass. But despite that, they started to push Madrid back in their own half but they almost abandoned their defense making it easy for Madrid to counter attack. They should have had an equalizer in the forty-ninth minute though, but Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez brilliantly pushed Sergio Busquets curling shot wide. Barca started to look the more dominant side, but not by a lot, and could still easily get caught on the counter attack.
Madrid amazingly got their second goal of the match in the fifty-seventh minute, when Sami Khedira blindly hit a long clearance, and the ball fell to an open Angel Di Maria in the heart of the Barca half. Di Maria took the ball into the Barca box and met Carlos Puyol. He cut the ball back across his body which made Puyol slip, and then ran straight at the Barca goal. His shot was parried by Pinto but fell straight to Cristiano Ronaldo who chested it down and cushioned the ball into the back of the net off a half-volley.
After the goal Barca immediately brought on David Villa and that seemed to strengthen the Barca attack. A few minutes after Villa came on Pedro was brought down in the Madrid box, but despite Barca’s penalty claims referee Alberto Mallenco rightfully did not award one. Still, Barca seemed to be strengthened, but Madrid surprisingly put the game to bed in the sixty-eighth minute when Raphael Varane leaped into the air and superbly latched on to Xabi Alonso’s corner. His header looked like it would fly over the bar, but it seemingly defied physics and hit the underside of the top crossbar and in to put Madrid 3-0 up.
After their third goal Madrid sat back and defended, and nearly conceded in the seventy-seventh when Barca substitute Cristian Tello was played in on goal and his shot was amazingly stopped by Lopez, but in vain for the offside flag had gone up anyway. Barca did finally pull one back though, and when Iniesta brilliantly chipped the ball over the Madrid defense to Jordi Alba in the eight-ninth minute, Alba coolly volleyed it past an oncoming Lopez and into the back of the net. But the goal was only a consolation, and the match ended 3-1 with Madrid advancing to the finals of the Copa del Rey.
Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo