Atletico wins Copa del Rey as Ronaldo ejected

The Copa del Rey trophy could have been coach Jose Mourinho’s

parting gift for Real Madrid, or at least a consolation prize after

a disappointing season filled with locker-room turmoil and failure

in La Liga and the Champions League.

Instead, Atletico Madrid ended a 25-game, 14-year winless streak

against its rival, getting a 98th-minute goal from Miranda for a

2-1 victory in the Copa del Rey final on Friday night following the

ejections of Mourinho and Real star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo put Madrid ahead in the 14th minute with a header, his

55th goal of the season, but Atletico tied the score in the 35th

minute when Radamel Falcao set up Diego Costa.

Atletico, which had 19 losses and six draws against Real since

its previous victory, won its 10th Copa del Rey title and first

since 1996.

”This is for our fans that have suffered for 14 years,”

Atletico captain Gabi Fernandez said before receiving the trophy

from Spain’s King Juan Carlos. ”I think this team worked hard for

this and deserved it.”

Mourinho was sent off for protesting a foul in the 76th minute.

Likely heading back to Chelsea this summer, he is set to finish

without a title in what appears to be the last of his three seasons

in Madrid.

Before that, Mourinho had spent most of the match in the dugout.

He was jeered by both sets of fans before kickoff at Real’s

Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with the home supporters upset at his

treatment of goalkeeper Iker Casillas and supposed desire to

leave.

”This is my worst season. I have never not won an important

title. You can say I failed this season,” Mourinho said. ”With

one final, a semifinal, a second-place finish, and a Spanish

Supercup, for many other coaches it would have been a good season.

For me it’s the worst.”

Mourinho repeated he will decide his future with club president

Florentino Perez after the season ends in early June.

Ronaldo received a straight red card in the 114th for kicking

Fernandez in the face, setting off a sideline scuffle. Gabi was

ejected seconds before the final whistle for a second yellow

card.

Ronaldo and teammates Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema all hit posts

with shots before Atletico went ahead when Miranda, a Brazilian

defender, headed in a cross from Jorge ”Koke” Resurrecion.

”We had the good fortune that a champion needs,” said Atletico

coach Diego Simeone, who added the cup to the Europa League title

won last year. ”What these players have done for the past year and

a half is amazing. I don’t have words for it.”

Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made one-on-one stops to

deny Gonzalo Higuain in the 104th and Ozil in the 109th. He also

was struck on the head by an object thrown from the stands shortly

after.

”It isn’t normal to hit the post three times,” Mourinho said.

”You don’t have to be an expert to think that the result wasn’t

fair, that Atletico isn’t the just winner. But in football all that

is forgotten, the posts, the referee, and Atletico goes down the

winner.”