Real Madrid booked its ticket to the Copa del Rey Final with a simply dominant performance over Barcelona. The emphatic 4-0 win on the night at Camp Nou means Los Blancos advance, 4-1 on aggregate.
Entering the game, Barcelona has had Real Madrid locked up. In the last three contests between the two, Barcelona picked up three wins. One was in the league, one was in the Supercopa de España and one was in the first leg of this Copa del Rey tie. The latter provided Barcelona’s advantage entering this edition of El Clásico.
Barcelona had an early penalty shout, with David Alaba dipping his arm down while sliding. Gavi’s pass back into the middle clearly struck the defender’s arm. However, it was a natural position, as the Austrian was going to ground, and using his arm to brace his fall. Therefore, no penalty was given.
Benzema hat trick propels Real Madrid past Barcelona in Copa del Rey
Despite Barcelona having a number of great chances, it was Real Madrid to break the deadlock. After a tremendous save at the other end by Thibaut Courtois on Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid quickly got forward with its elite front three of Vinicius, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo. Vinicius played the ball wide to Benzema, who gave it back to the Brazilian. Vinicius then tucked the ball into the right post. Despite Jules Koundé contorting his body to block the ball, it dribbled into Marc Andre ter Stegen’s net. The goal leveled the tie on aggregate.
Just five minutes into the second half, Benzema was at the double. Quick interplay on the right side allowed Luka Modric to get in behind the Barcelona midfield. The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner fed the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner who lashed a shot low past the right side of ter Stegen.
Then, not long before the hour mark, Benzema grabbed his second from the penalty spot. A careless and frankly unnecessary challenge by Franck Kessié 20 yards from goal on Vinicius yielded a penalty. The always-clinical Benzema slotted home to provide a three-goal lead on the night, and a two-goal lead in the tie.
Real Madrid added its fourth as Vinicius played through the Benzema, who tapped the ball over the trailing leg of ter Stegen. It was Benzema’s sixth goal in his last two games.
Real through to the Final
The 4-1 win over Barcelona on aggregate clinches a Real Madrid date with Osasuna in the Copa del Rey Final. Remarkably, despite all of Real Madrid’s recent success, this is the side’s first trip to the Copa del Rey Final since 2014, a win over Barcelona.
In the recent minds, though, this ends Barcelona’s spell of dominance over their biggest rivals. Last season, it was Barcelona that had a 4-0 win on the road. This time, it was Real Madrid’s turn.
For Barcelona, it is the club’s worst loss of the season. The club has only conceded 19 goals in Spanish competition this season. Real Madrid is responsible for nine of those. Also, this takes away Barcelona’s chances of a domestic treble, with the league practically wrapped up.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pressinphoto
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