Madrid beats Barca 1-0 after extra time to win cup
Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the winner in extra-time as Real
Madrid ended an 18-year Copa del Rey trophy drought with a 1-0
victory over biggest rival Barcelona on Wednesday.
Ronaldo guided Angel Di Maria’s 103rd-minute cross back across
goal and past the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto
into the top corner as Madrid won silverware for the first time
since a 2008 Spanish league title.
”It was a very tough game, Barcelona played very well, but, as
you know, whoever scores, wins,” said Ronaldo, who won his first
title since joining Madrid last season. ”We are very happy, Madrid
had not won this cup for many years.”
Madrid dominated the first half and then relied on goalkeeper
Iker Casillas’ second-half stops as Barcelona took control after
the restart in an electric atmosphere at the Mestalla Stadium.
Madrid’s Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho bowed before King Juan
Carlos and Queen Sofia as he received his mini-trophy while
Casillas hugged the pair before using the king as support to climb
up on a support and hoist the club’s 18th domestic cup win
”A great game of football,” Mourinho said after bringing
silverware to the club in his first season to end a six-game
winless run against Barcelona, which lost for only the 10th time in
its 35th final appearance. ”The title isn’t mine, it’s everyone’s.
After so long without the Copa del Rey, it’s something nice.”
Barcelona failed with a trophy on the line for the first time
under coach Pep Guardiola.
”It’s always better to win than lose but we have to recover
because that’s life. Life has its knocks too,” Guardiola said.
”Will we pick ourselves up from this? Of course.”
Barcelona, which closed in on the league title with a 1-1 draw
against Madrid on Saturday, gets its first chance next Wednesday
when the pair meet for the first of a two-legged Champions League
The winning goal came from an incisive attack by Madrid.
Fullback Marcelo played Di Maria into the left side of the area and
the Argentina forward beat Daniel Alves to the perfectly-weighted
ball to find Ronaldo at the far post for the winner at the site of
both clubs’ last cup win – Madrid over Zaragoza and Barcelona over
Athletic Bilbao in 2009.
Madrid’s players were heading back to the Spanish capital to
celebrate at the Plaza de Cibeles, its traditional spot, although a
late night was not expected.
”We’re not going to celebrate so much – we’re all dead tired,”
defender Alvaro Arbeloa said.
The charged atmosphere for the ninth cup final at the Mestalla
might have played a hand in a frantic and physical first half
dominated by Madrid, which disrupted Barcelona’s cool with constant
pressure. The Catalans didn’t manage a single shot on goal until
the second half as it abandoned its slick passing game for long
balls at times.
With Javier Mascherano filling in for Carles Puyol at
centerback, Barcelona’s defense looked unsure as Madrid repeatedly
won back possession with constant upfield pressure.
And Madrid created chances on the break as expected with Mesut
Oezil picking up where he left off in Saturday’s 1-1 draw by
creating Madrid’s best opportunities including in the 36th when he
set up Ronaldo for a shot Pinto saved.
”They played similar (to Saturday’s game)- they changed players
but the concept was pretty much the same as the Bernabeu,”
Guardiola said. ”With such great teams it’s the details that make
The bruising matchup led to a number of run-ins between players
who normally represent Spain together, with David Villa and Alvaro
Arbeloa exchanging shoves, while even a frustrated Lionel Messi had
trouble hiding his emotions as the acrimonious rivalry bubbled up
with silverware on the line. Barcelona had won three of the five
previous cup finals between the two before this one, including the
last one in 1990.
Barcelona – which watched Pepe’s header come off the post just
before the break – was more composed after the restart as it worked
the ball and rediscovered the possession game that helps them
thrive, with Villa threatening.
Mourinho, meanwhile, screamed at Ronaldo for skirting his
defensive duties while Messi was booked for blocking a free kick in
the 64th as the teams’ two stars – who have now combined for 90
goals this season – found it hard to show off their offensive
”We wanted him to participate in areas where we want him to be
involved,” Guardiola said of Messi after he was again stymied by a
Mourinho gameplan. ”He’s so important for us.”
The Barcelona half of the stadium exploded in the 69th but
Pedro’s goal was chalked off for offside before Casillas
The Spain ‘keeper dived to keep out Messi’s low screamer and
then swatted away Pedro’s top corner bound curler away in the 75th.
Casillas again stood tall in the 81st after tipping Andres
Iniesta’s shot wide of the post.
”We prove to everyone we can beat any team we want,” said
Casillas after winning the only club trophy missing from his
cabinet of silverware.
With Barcelona dominating, Madrid nearly scored an injury-time
winner but Pinto – usually a backup except for cup games – tipped
Di Maria’s rising shot over the bar before Ronaldo beat Pinto in
the 98th but flashed wide of the far post.
Ronaldo was quick in the 118th as he jumped to Emmanuel
Adebayor’s tipped shot but his shot was deflected high as Madrid
withstood Di Maria’s sending off in the 120th – as Madrid finished
with 10 men against Barca for the second time in five days – to win
in front of over 52,000 fans.
Casillas added Mestalla’s smaller dimensions also helped Madrid
”We don’t know any other way (of playing),” Alves said. ”We
leave with a bittersweet taste but with our heads held very