Real Madrid faced Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals
Real Madrid sputtered their way through another first half, pegged back by their local rivals as the Copa del Rey quarterfinal derby reached halftime.
Real Madrid faced Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. The buildup to this match was shameful for the football community. Some Atletico ultras hung a doll wearing the jersey of Vinicius Jr., and “Madrid hates real” was written on the walls. Both clubs have condemned this gesture by those fans.
A tense match was expected as per the history of matches between these two teams. Both teams started with strong lineups. Not many changes were made.
The game started a bit slow, and both teams were happy to defend and keep making short passes to build up. The game was so slow that players were not running much for the ball, and there was very little off-the-ball movement until the 19th minute when Atletico started increasing the tempo to build up the first goal. When the whole Madrid team was playing slowly, Molina made an overlapping run and ran past Mendy and Vinicius to pass the ball for Morata to score. Atletico Madrid leads the game 1-0.
After scoring the goal, Atletico changed the way they were playing and started sitting deep and holding the game. The defensive line had six players, and the midfield had two. They made a defense impossible for Madrid to break, although it was mostly due to Madrid’s inability to create anything from the center of the pitch. They tried to build from the wings, but it was all waste in front of Atletico’s defense.
After the break, Atletico tried to score another and pressed a little better, but all their chances were either off-target or saved by Courtois. Ancelotti had to make some changes in order to shake things up, and he brought in Rodrygo and Asensio. Rodrygo started operating as number 10, and he was linking up well with Vinicius and Benzema.
In the 79th minute, he got the ball 30 meters away from the goal and started running past a few Atletico defenders to score past Oblak from a tight angle, and Madrid was level. This was such a relief for both Ancelotti and Real Madrid. Now they started believing again. Atletico also made some attacking changes to counter the pressure from Madrid. Angel Correa and Carrasco had chances to score, but Courtois saved them all.
In extra time, Madrid again started to control the game and push forward while Atletico players were sitting deep in the box. In the 99th minute, Savic fouled Camavinga, got his second yellow card, and got sent off. Atletico was now down to 10 men. Madrid started passing around the box, and finally, in the 103rd minute, Asensio sent a low cross into the box where neither Rodrygo nor Vinicius could shoot, but the ball fell nicely for Benzema, and he scored the second goal of the game for Madrid, Real Madrid were on cloud nine now. Atletico did try to create some moves but couldn’t score.
Vinicius got his name on the scoresheet in the 123rd minute of the game. Ceballos intercepted the ball in the middle of the park, and Vinicius took the ball and started his run toward the goal. He ran past 2-3 defenders and scored calmly beyond Oblak to make it 3-1 for Real Madrid.