Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and Gabi were all sent off as Atletico Madrid win their first Madrid Derby since 1999, in an ill-tempered and thrilling Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu. Young center-back Miranda gave Atletico their extra time winner after Diego Costa had equalized to pull the final into extra time. Cristiano Ronaldo scored Madrid’s only goal of the game, although he and Jose Mourinho were both given their marching orders later in the match by referee Carlos Gomez. Amazingly, the match saw thirteen yellow cards, seven for Madrid and six for Atletico, and each side saw one of their players handed a second yellow deep into extra time.
The game in hand was a dramatic and thrilling encounter, and after a good spell from Madrid in the opening minutes of the game, Los Blancos found themselves in front after only fourteen minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo magnificently rose above his marker Diego Godin in the center of the Atletico box to latch onto Mesut Ozil’s corner, and slammed the corner past Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois into the far corner of the net. Atletico went in search of an immediate response, and Gabi almost equalized in the sixteenth minute after Radamel Falcao brilliantly disentangled himself from the challenges of Fabio Coentrao and Michael Essien on the left, before playing it to Gabi. Gabi set himself up for a long range shot, which whizzed just over the bar from thirty-yards out.
Atletico threatened to grab an equalizer, but wasted the large amount of their chances that came from crosses, completing just one of their nine crosses in the opening thirty-two minutes. But Diego Simone’s side eventually took one of their chances in the thirty-fifth minute when stunning hold up play from Falcao saw the forward spin and flick his way around Xabi Alonso and Raul Albiol. After breaking away from the Madrid defenders, Falcao released Diego Costa with a brilliant pass, and Costa let it run across his body before placing a firm low shot past Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez into the corner of the net from the edge of the box. But Madrid were a far way from finished yet, and after pressuring hard in the final minutes of the half, Ozil hit the post with a low bouncing volley from the edge of the box after Coentrao had his shot blocked. Madrid couldn’t take the lead before the end of the half though, and the first half ended 1-1.
Madrid were in total control at the start of the half, but in the fifty-ninth minute Atletico almost took the lead off a counter-attack. Juanfran’s searching cross from the right found Filipe at the far post, but although the left-back made good contact with his volley, he only found the side-netting. Only seconds later it took some sensational defending from Atletico to keep the score level after Ronaldo had broken into the box on the left, before cutting it back into the center of the box. Karim Benzema pounced onto the ball, but his shot from six yards out hit the inside of the post and bounced back out, only for it to fall Ozil, who had his shot amazingly blocked off the line by Juanfran. Madrid look sure to score, and Los Blancos hit the post in the sixty-seventh minute. Ronaldo stepped up to take a free-kick on the edge of the box, and the Madrid No. 7 slid the free-kick under the jumping Atletico wall, only for his shot to bounce back out of the inside of the post with Courtois stranded on the other side of the goal.
The match threatened to boil over and the final got very interesting in the seventy-fifth minute when Jose Mourinho stepped out of the managerial area to yell at referee Carlos Gomez after the ref had awarded Atletico a free-kick, which Diego Simone had been doing all game. Surprisingly, Mourinho was given his marching orders, and and to watch the rest of the game from the dressing room. Atletico had gained confidence from their good fortunes though, and so nearly grabbed a winner in the second minute of injury time when Gabi’s deflected cross from the right flew towards goal with Lopez stranded, only for it to bounce out off the post. While Gabi had hit the post, Ronaldo had somehow complained so much about the assistant ref not awarding a foul throw against Atletico, that he earned himself a needless booking. But neither side could grab a winner before the end of the ninty-minutes, and the match advanced into extra time.
Costa should have put Atletico up in the ninety-fourth minute, but he scuffed his shot at Lopez after he had been put in on goal. But Simone’s side did grab the crucial goal in the ninety-eighth minute when Koke whipped in a superb cross from the right after his corner was blocked. Miranda glanced the header into the back of the net from the front post, to give Atletico an astounding lead. Madrid pressured, and Courtois magnificently stuck out a leg to block Gonzalo Higuain’s volley from point-blank range. The match moved into the second half of extra time, and Courtois was again forced into a stunning save to keep Atletico in the lead. The Belgian ran across goal with Angel Di Maria’s cross from the right, and just managed to stick out a hand to block Ozil’s tap-in on the back post. With just four minutes remaining Ronaldo was given his marching orders after he lashed out, kicking Gabi in the face after the midfielder had tackled the forward. Their was five minutes of added time added on to extra time, and deep into the hundred-and-twenty-fourth minute Gabi earned his second yellow by clipping Di Maria from behind. But Atletico managed to hold on to the historic win, to beat Madrid for the first time since 1999 and win the Copa del Rey.
Man of the Match: Thibaut Courtois