Takeaways from Real Madrid’s 1st Copa Del Rey win since 2014

Real Madrid defeated Osasuna 2-1 to win their 1st trophy of the year
Real Madrid

(Football News) Real Madrid over the years despite being one of the best clubs in Europe have failed to win the Copa Del Rey. The last time they won the Cup was in 2014 under Carlo Ancelotti and this year once again he has delivered the goods for them. Real Madrid’s Copa Del Rey campaign has been almost as dramatic as their Champions League campaign last season. Real Madrid had comebacks, brilliant individual moments, and drama throughout the competition. In the first round, Los Blancos played 4th division side Cacerano and got a narrow 1-0 win. Real Madrid were favorites but they still needed Rodrygo to score a brilliant individual goal and win them the game.

The 2nd round was possibly the most dramatic one as Real Madrid faced fellow La Liga club Villarreal. Los Blancos came into the game after a heavy 3-1 loss in the Spanish Super Cup final against Barcelona. In their league game before that Real Madrid had lost 2-1 to Villarreal as well. Carlo Ancelotti started with his strongest XI but Los Blancos still went 2-0 in the first half.

Real Madrid looked down and out but then Carlo Ancelotti turned to Dani Ceballos. The Spaniard replaced Toni Kroos and changed the dynamics of the game with his control and creativity. Ceballos set up Vinicius Jr in incredible fashion to pull one back. He then put in a cross for Karim Benzema who nodded it across goal to Eder Militao for the equalizer. Real Madrid started dominating the game and Dani Ceballos scored a brilliant goal to win the game.

In the quarter finals, Real Madrid were pitted against arch rivals Atletico Madrid. The match was controversial even before kick off as Atletico Madrid fans hanged Vinicius Jr’s doll from a bridge in Madrid with a sign that said ‘Madrid hates Real’. The teams squared up at the Bernabéu and it was former Real Madrid player Alvaro Morata who scored for Atletico.

Los Blancos were once again trailing before Rodrygo who came on as a substitute scored a brilliant goal after a darting individual run. The game went into extra time where Dani Ceballos escaped a 2nd yellow card but Stefan Savic was sent off minutes later. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr scored to win the game 3-1 for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid and Barcelona met for the two legged Copa Del Rey semi final. Los Blancos dominated the first leg at the Bernabéu but still lost 1-0 due to Militao’s own goal. Barcelona were missing several players due to injury but Real Madrid were very poor in the final third. The Merengues also lost the league El Clasico which ended their La Liga title defense. Before the 2nd leg, Barcelona had won the last 3 El Clasicos. However in the 2nd leg at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid ran riot with a convincing 4-0 win which put them in the final. Vinicius Jr scored the opening goal while Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick in what was a statement win.

In the final against Osasuna, Real Madrid opened the scoring inside 2 minutes. Vinicius Jr gave a brilliant assist to Rodrygo who scored. Osasuna did manage to equalize via La Fabrica but Rodrygo once again scored to win the match 2-1 for Real Madrid. Throughout the campaign, Rodrygo has been incredible as he scored 4 goals in 6 games. Vinicius Jr was also crucial with his 3 goals and 3 assists in 5 games. Dani Ceballos was a game-changing substitute in the matches against Villarreal and Atlético Madrid. He was unlucky to miss the final after an injury just one day before the game.

Real Madrid’s drought is over but they need to find a way to prioritise the Copa Del Rey. Los Blancos have won the competition 20 times but Barcelona have won it 31 times while Athletic Club have won it 23 times. Next year Carlo Ancelotti must think of giving more chances to academy players and fringe players because the regulars may lack the desperation needed to win these games. Now Real Madrid will turn their heads to the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City for which they don’t have much time to rest and prepare.

Also read: Manchester City edge past Leeds United to remain on top of the Premier League standings


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