Match Recap: Copa del Rey – Real Madrid v UE Cornellà

3 Nov

Photo 1Alright, that photo has nothing to do with the match. It’s my “Trifecta” medal from those crazy Spartan Races I’ve been doing. The green one is for the Spartan Beast. It’s 12+ miles of running and obstacles. By the end I was dirty and tired but it was totally worth it. Anyway, I just wanted to show you my excuse for not even watching the Clasico until a few days ago.

That game was amazing! If only they’d pulled that off when Lozil and I had been there. Thanks a MILLION times to hopechaser for stepping in while I was gone. She did an amazing job and I may retire from match posts because she’s done such a lovely job.

Ancelotti rested most of our normal starters in favor of getting playing time for guys like Navas, Nacho, and Illaramendi. He also graced us with Sami’s first start since coming back from injury! Yay Sami!

Lineups:

U.E. Cornellà: Segovia, Mart, Arnau, Pelegri, Joel, Gomez, David, Xeme, Josele, Caballe, Munoz

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Arbeloa, Rodriguez, Khedira, Illaramendi, Isco, Chicharito, Benzema

Photo 2Cornella are a third tier team. So it really felt a bit like David and Goliath. Despite my usual affinity for underdogs, Real Madrid are in my heart. So I was on board with Goliath one hundred percent.

Cornella started pretty well, to be honest. Our passing looked a bit sloppy (I may have been yelling “FIRST TOUCH” right off the bat).

Our first real chance for goal came in the 9th minute when James chipped the ball in from the top of the box. Sami (Yay!) got a head to it but Segovia was there to make the save. Good connection with James and Sami though!

But all we need is patience because just one minute later, we got our goal. We’d earned a corner, which James whipped into the box. Baby Varane came charging in to head it perfectly into the net. Don’t tell anyone, but he’s my favorite. I adore him to pieces and I squealed when he headed that.

We began to play a bit better, with our passes finding their intended targets a bit more (there are still a couple of players I want to pull aside though). In the 15th minute, Juggy James (thanks to jellyace for that one) broke down the left and it looked like we had another promising go at goal. But his cross, intended for Chicharito, was cut out by Mart in the center.

In the 19th minute we earned another corner after Arnau managed to head it behind his team’s goal. The corner saw James lurking at the back post but nothing came of it. No huge header for my favorite this time.

Cornella pushed forward and one minute later, we had a tiny little team that sits 7th in the Segunda B (their highest ever position) scoring against Champions League and La Liga legends. Munoz scored a stunning half volley. The defending on it was a bit atrocious. A bit. *sigh*

In the 23rd minute, Nacho flicked a header toward goal at the other. I thought the ball hit Joel in the hands and was begging the ref for a penalty because, you know, he can hear me. But he said no because he can also respond to me.

We seemed a little discombobulated. It was obvious that these weren’t our normal starters. We played well, but not even close to the level that we are used to as fans. Illaramendi, for all the love I have for him, is still struggling to command the midfield.

In the 27th minute, I hid my eyes as Dani chopped down Joel. I was positive it was a card, but the ref never went for his pocket. If there was one thing I could say, the ref was consistent in his no-calls.

Cornella continued to press forward, jumping on a few of our bad passes. But Cornella were, thankfully for our defense, unable to finish.

In the 34th minute, David and Xeme clashed heads while trying to defend against a Real Madrid attack. They got rather lucky and the ball went behind for a corner but I cringed. I hate when I see players coming together. I always get visions of a pre-MLS match I went to as a kid. Two players came together and it was horribly traumatic. I’ll spare you the details but two players had to be stretchered off the pitch.

*shudder*

Moving on with the match, James powered forward down the right and crossed it into the box in the 35th minute, but the keeper got to it first and pushed it out for another Real Madrid corner.

MY FAVORITE!

Once again the corner resulted in a goal by Baby Varane (who I need to stop calling a baby because holy mother of Mary he’s growing up!). This time the delivery was Isco’s corner to take and again Varane came charging in to head the ball into it’s home.

I keep watching that goal again and again. Mostly because of the fact that his marker went with him and he was just too good in the air. The height that Varane gets. He just towers over everyone. Granted, he’s a tall guy but so is Peter Crouch and he has a vertical leap of about one inch. Varane actually can jump too.

So Varane had a brace already and all of a sudden I was sending messages to Lozil telling her I wanted the baby to get his first hat-trick. Guess I had to wait and see. There were still a lot of minutes to go.

In the 39th minute, Chicharito held the ball up at the top of the box while waiting on Benzema. But the was already blown before Benz could get his shot off. No matter, the shot was directly at the keeper anyway.

Just a minute later, Segovia channeled his inner Manuel Neuer and charged about 40 yards off his line to head the ball then volley it clear. Luckily for him, he got away with it but that was nerve wracking for everyone. Crikey!

Cornella began pressing forward again with both Caballe and Xemi making runs into the box only to be stopped by Carvajal and Nacho respectively.

And the first half was over with us holding onto a slim lead.

Second Half:

We had to come out strong. As Real Madrid fans, we expect our team to dominate constantly. This was no exception. We all felt, I think, a bit like we should be leading this match 4-0 and not 2-1.

The only change we saw going into the second half was that Carvajal and Arbeloa switched, putting Dani on the right and Alvaro on the left.

Our first real order of business was to earn a corner in the 48th minute. But nothing came of it this time, as Segovia was able to come out and punch it away a bit weakly.

Then Dani hit the ground pretty hard and clutched at his ankle. NO DANI! NO! He got up, though. And just a couple of minutes later, Chicharito made his presence known.

After falling down in the box, he got up and gained possession of the ball. His low shot found the bottom corner and we had a little breathing room.

I had been complaining earlier that Chicharito had been largely missing. The thing is he’s a finisher, a goal poacher, and if you give him a sniff of goal he’ll get it. He’s not a creator. He’s very similar, in some ways, to Raul. As long as he’s scoring the goals when we need him, I’ll take it.

In the 56th minute, Cornella made their first subs, replacing Pelegri with Marti Tapia and Josele with Alex Gallar. As he went off, Pelegri walked over to Varane and asked for his shirt. I would have too, love. I would have too.

In the 58th minute, Chicharito almost added another with a lovely ball in from James. But Tapia was there first.

Our first action off the bench was to see Marcelo in for Juggy James. I was a bit perplexed at first. Was James due for a rest? Sure. But putting Marcelo in for him seemed strange. I do remember telling a friend, however, that sometimes I feel like Marcelo should be a winger instead of a defender. So in the sense that Marcelo LOVES pushing forward, it made a bit of sense. And if Dani was still a worry, Marcelo could slot into the right and cover the defense if he was needed.

In the 64th minute, Varane earned a yellow card for… Yeah, I missed it to be honest. I can’t even tell you what it was for. I’m sorry!

In the 70th minute, Cornella’s final sub was to bring on Luiz Gaudioso in place of Xemi.

Just a minute later, Gomez went down in the box after a challenge by Carvajal. I held my breath for a moment, thinking the ref might give a penalty. Thankfully, the ref saw it as the good challenge that it was and didn’t make that call.

At 74′ we got goal number 4 from lovely, lovely Marcelo. Isco did all the work for the build up, taking on the defenders and slotting a low shot that was pushed away by Segovia. Marcelo was there to clean it up, however.

His celebration was his amazing backflip and a goofy little run over to the bench to Jug James.

I love the way he just mounts James. It’s wonderful.

In the 75th minute, Karim and Isco made way for Alvaro Medran (possibly a new favorite) and Raul de Tomas. Giving the kids some playing time. You go Carlo!

We really controlled the match from here on. In the 81st minute, Medran absolutely smashed a shot on goal from about 25 yards out. It would have been on target but instead of seeing goal, it simply saw the chest of Garcia. That one had to hurt.

In the 84th minute de Tomas showed that he wanted a goal. He got up to head a cross toward net but it didn’t have enough power on it. Segovia found it easy to collect.

The final real action of the match was a yellow card to Joel. We’d dropped our pace in the match and so had Cornella. There’s still a second leg to go and both teams seemed a bit tired. After two minutes of stoppage time, that was it.

Match Photos:

Post-Match Comments:

Photo 43Ancelotti:

“Isco is switched on, gets about and is enjoying in his best form since joining Real Madrid”, he added.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the Power8 Stadium press room after the game to analyse Real Madrid’s first leg encounter against Cornellá in the Copa del Rey Round of 32: “We were good and played a serious game. The players who were involved can be happy with themselves for putting on a great spectacle”.

“Cornellà played well and deserved their goal. They worked extremely well, were well organised and fought hard. The atmosphere was excellent and we had a lot of supporters cheering us on in the stadium”.

Praise for Isco
“He is great and is loved by the fans. He’s switched on, gets around the pitch and is enjoying his best form since joining Real Madrid. We hope he can keep it up, with the same rhythm and with the same attitude”.

“Benzema is fine. He didn’t have any problems recovering in time for this match and didn’t need a rest. The whole squad is fine, including those who haven’t played much, like Khedira and Illarra. James doesn’t have any problems. The plan was to give him an hour on the pitch and he played a good game”.

The playing system
“4-4-2 is a system we use regularly when we don’t have possession in order to defend well. Today we played well with the ball also. Usually, when we have the ball we play with an extra man up front. This system allows us to press better when we don’t have it”.

His statements about Blatter
“I need to redress what I said. The question I was asked this morning wasn’t very clear. He didn’t ask for Neuer to win the Ballon d’Or, instead he was referring to the World Cup Golden Ball, which I agree with him about. As such, I would like to redress what I said this morning”.

Photo 44Varane:

“We have the ability to score from set-pieces and we have to keep doing it”, he said after finding the net twice.

Varane was the star of the victory over Cornellá, scoring the first two goals. The Frenchman spoke about his clinical finishing in the Copa del Rey: “This is the competition where I score the most goals. I’m happy about the game, the victory and my first goals of the season. Hopefully I can score more”.

“We have the ability to score from set-pieces and we have to keep doing it because it’s good for the team. The crowd were behind us and there were a lot of Madrid fans in the stadium. As for the Ballon d’Or, I don’t decide that. Hopefully it will be a Real Madrid player”.

Photo 45Chicharito:

Chicharito was one of the players to get on the scoresheet during his Copa del Rey debut against Cornellà, and spoke about how he felt after the game: “The important thing was to get a good win in the first leg. The manager asks us to be professional and respectful with every opponent we face. That means playing as if we were up against Barcelona”.

“James passed me the ball, I attempted a one-two with Benzema and then I just shot towards goal and thanks to God it went in. I work hard so that every time a chance falls to me I’m able to make the most of it and do the best I can for this crest”.

Sorry this was so late. I had an art history project that is kicking my arse! Anyway, I’ll have the Granada match done soon and then we face Liverpool again on Tuesday!

(images and gifs from GF Sports, the-vip-football-collection, football-hqs, and realmadrid.com)

¡Hala Madrid!

-mygypsyspirit

3 Responses to “Match Recap: Copa del Rey – Real Madrid v UE Cornellà”

  1. M November 4, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Congrats! That’s an amazing achievement!! Go you!

    • jellyace November 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      Congratulations on your cool medals and achievements, mygypsyspirit! You are quite the Spartan and make the rest of us look like weenies! That is so admirable! BRAVO, girl! Take a bow!

  2. jellyace November 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    I missed the match so the recap has been a godsend, mygypsyspirit! I love how Juggy James just slots in so well into the team. To think that the transfer choice was between James and Luis Suarez…hmmm Juggy Bear v Chompers….hmmm worldwide appeal from the World Cup v worldwide disdain from the World Cup. So glad that the powers at the mothership chose a “future Kaka.” I noticed he got a cut over his left eye, just like his mentor Cristiano did a few months ago. (oooooh! Bale rolls his eyes!)

    The boys stepped up for this match and did well! Don’t know why Marcelo got flak for his superb gymnastic goal celebration (they said it was disrespectful), but he’s just celebrating a rare goal.

    And I adore how Juggy James and Isco Cutie Pie are usually the first to rush in for a post-goal hug (jug?) celebration. Juggy is also one to keep jugging and is the last to let go. Since Isco lost his beloved roomie Morata, I hope he and Juggy James hook up and have one big jugfest! Yea, I’m shipping Jamisco!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: