Real Madrid came back to beat Atletico Madrid, 3-1, in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals on Thursday. The Madrid derby is historically one of the fiercest rivals in club soccer. Thursday’s game didn’t disappoint. The match featured three brilliant goals, as well as a red card. The pre-match hype for the massive match was marred […]
Real Madrid came back to beat Atletico Madrid, 3-1, in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals on Thursday. The Madrid derby is historically one of the fiercest rivals in club soccer.
Thursday’s game didn’t disappoint. The match featured three brilliant goals, as well as a red card.
The pre-match hype for the massive match was marred by an incident from some Atleti fans. Right-wing ultras hung a doll wearing Vinicius Junior’s jersey from a bridge near Real’s training ground. Both clubs, along with LaLiga, condemned the racist act.
Morata scores against old team again
Atleti struck first in the game with a goal inside the first 20 minutes. Koke played a perfect lobbed ball over the back line of Real’s defense into an onrushing Nahuel Molina. The Argentine World Cup winner then squared a pass straight to Alvaro Morata for the easy finish. It was a beautifully worked team goal for the visitors and their first strike on the road in the Madrid Derby since 2018.
The goal was Morata’s third strike in seven games against his former club. He also previously netted against Real in both legs of a Champions League semi-final while playing for Juventus. Morata played 95 total matches for the club during two separate stints.
Real’s injury woes worsened a bit when Ferland Mendy was forced off of the pitch. Midfielder Dani Ceballos entered the fray for the defender, which made Eduardo Camavinga switch to the left back position. Carlo Ancelotti’s team is already without David Alaba, Dani Carvajal, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Eden Hazard, and Lucas Vazquez.
Rodrygo levels the score with stunner in Madrid derby in Copa del Rey
The hosts amped up the pressure in the second half and finally found a breakthrough in the 79th minute. Substitute Rodrygo scored an incredible solo goal after a marauding run into Atleti’s box to level the score.
With the game tied at 1-1 at the full-time whistle, the match went into extra time. Atleti’s chances to advance plummeted in the 99th minute. Center back Stefan Savic picked up a red card for a simply silly challenge while on a yellow. It was two yellows inside of two minutes, putting Atletico down a man for the remaining 20 minutes.
Benzema, Vinicius put finishing touches on Atleti
Real’s star striker Karim Benzema put his team ahead just five minutes later. The France international put a neatly placed shot between Jan Oblak and the post after the ball fell to him inside the box. It was Benzema’s 13th goal of the current campaign.
Vinicius, the target of those racist attacks from a small contingent of Atletico supports, exacted his revenge to ice the game. Another Brazilian to score a brilliant solo goal for Real Madrid provided the third for Los Blancos. The magician put together a mazy run through the Atletico defense before calmly slotting past Oblak.
The 19-time winners of the Copa del Rey will now face either Osasuna, Athletic Club or rivals Barcelona in the semis.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Lagencia