Match Recap: Copa del Rey – Real Madrid Vs. UE Cornellà

3 Dec

Jese is backOh yes he was! Honestly, the biggest story out of the match was always going to be the return of Jese. Well, unless Cornella managed to beat us. But that was just unacceptable to think.

There was some great pre-match social media. Illara was just as excited about the return of Jese as we were.

Sergio Llull and Marcus Slaughter were also on hand at the Bernabeu and excited about Jese’s return. Really, Marcus Slaughter is usually just the embodiment of all of us, isn’t he?

Ancelotti gave a few of our bigger stars a rest. Aside from having Jese on the bench for the first time in nine months, we also got the exciting news that Pacheco was getting his first start for us!

I also loved these photos that I came across. I think I said in the first leg that Cornella is a tiny, third tier team. Many of these players have “real” jobs outside of playing football so they were just as excited to be standing in the Bernabeu as Lozil and I were.

Excited Cornella playersIt’s easy to take for granted what a special place it is. We see it every week on television, but to be in the Bernabeu is special.


Real Madrid: Fernando Pacheco; Alvaro Arbeloa, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Fabio Coentrao; Asier Illaramendi, Sami Khedira, Alvaro Medran; James Rodriguez, Isco, Chicharito

UE Cornella: Iñigo Iñigo; Pere Sastre, Borja Lopez, Xavi Pelegri, Israel Delgado; David Garcia, Luis Gaudioso, Sergio Gomez, Oscar Muñoz; Alex Gallar, Xavi Boniquet

Without Sergio or Iker in the starting lineup, we didn’t get our pre-match besos. We did get a look at our babies though. They all look so young!

It’s just very strange to me that Varane could be considered one of our veterans. I have this terrible feeling that if he doesn’t start playing regularly soon, he could leave. I realize that we have so many good players that it’s difficult to get into our starting eleven, but The Baby is too good to be sitting on the bench.

With the number of players rested, we got the chance to see Arbeloa donning the captain’s band. I love seeing products of La Fabrica wearing it. Not that I have issues with Sergio or Pepe (or anyone else) wearing it, it’s just a different thing when it’s worn by someone that came through our youth system.

The match kicked off and, as expected, we dominated possession. I noticed that Arbeloa was playing very far forward. I always get cautiously excited about that. I like forward playing defenders, but Arbeloa doesn’t really have the speed to get back if he’s caught up the field.

Illara was doing well to control play, showing that he can replace Modric and Kroos if needed. This really was a chance for the “kids” to show they had what it takes to step in for our normal starters.

In the 7th minute, James cut inside from the left and looked for Chicharito at the back post. The cross was too long, however, and Chicharito eventually looked like he just said “screw it”.

In the 10th minute we were so close. Medran played the ball toward the back post to Chicharito. At least I think he did. At first I wasn’t sure if it was intended to be a shot or not. Either way, the ball didn’t end up in the back of the net. We earned a corner shortly after, but it was a wasted chance.

In the 14th minute, my swooning over the newly shaved Arbeloa ended when he stuck his foot in and took down Boniquet, giving Cornella a penalty. Pacheco guessed the right way, though he went to ground, but Boniquet shot too high and missed. WE. GOT. LUCKY.

It took only a minute for us to respond to that near deficit. James beat Iñigo with a wonderful chipped shot after receiving a great pass from Isco.


He then did his hip swinging (solo this time) and pointed into the boxes. In my head, he’s pointing at Cristiano. “Yeah, you see that hip action? That’s for you, boo.”

Elsewhere in Madrid, Gareth is sobbing into his pillow.

Following that goal, the match began to get a bit frustrating for me. Not because Cornella had possession, or because we weren’t playing well. In fact, we were playing beautifully. We controlled possession, were making gorgeous passes, and playing our game. I was frustrated because with all of those gorgeous passes, we weren’t doing anything.

My problem with the way that Barcelona play tiki taka has always been that they essentially were passing for the sake of passing. To me, that’s – excuse my language – bullshit if you’re not pressing forward and trying to score. I love Real Madrid because we’re a counter-attacking team and that’s both beautiful and exciting. When we pass, it’s beautiful play. But when we don’t do anything with it, I start to get antsy.

In the 26th minute, Boniquet attempted to make his way into the box with the same bit of skill he’d used against Arbeloa when he drew the penalty. This time it was Varane who stole possession of the ball, without getting the call.

In the 28th minute, Nacho found himself with the ball in front of goal and decided he wanted a shot. But his shot was high and Stalker didn’t get on the scoresheet.

In the 31st minute, it was Isco’s turn. James split two defenders with a beautiful pass and Isco’s finish was just as beautiful.

I see an Isco/James bromance coming. What should that moniker be? Jisco? Imes? No? I’m done.

Not even a minute later, Chicharito backheeled an Isco pass on one touch to James and he placed it in the back of the net. 3-0

In the 37th minute, Cornella was able to push forward a little but their play was broken up by Illara when he grabbed a handful of shirt. It earned him a needless yellow card.

Then, in the 38th minute, Isco did fantastic to take on three defenders in the box. But Borja came flying in before he could shoot and made a great block. Isco was just having fun out there!

Cornella were able to attempt to break forward just a minute before the end of half, when Pere made a great interception for them. But he gave the ball away cheaply to Coentrao. That was the last of the action for the first half. Real Madrid 3-0 UE Cornella.

Second Half:

Real Madrid CF v Cornella - Copa Del Rey: Round of 32Jese was warming up during the break, which left me thinking he’d come on at the start of the half. Instead, Ancelotti chose to give Diego Llorente some playing time in place of Varane.

The crowd cheered on Jese as he continued to warm up on the sideline. SO EXCITED!

The Bernabeu was far from full, but they were so loud when they saw him. We really do love our own, don’t we?

In the 49th minute, Coentrao and Medran linked up on the left but nothing came of it. Then Fabio found the ball at his feet again and his attempt at a cross was cleared by the Cornella defense.

A couple of minute later, Sami took Garcia’s shoulder to his face and hit the ground. He immediately signaled for help and clutched his face. It looked for a second that perhaps he was just hurting, but then he seemed unconscious and James waved the physios over hurriedly. He was able to get to his feet, though, and taken to the sidelines. Stupidly, though as per usual, he was allowed to continue on just two minutes later.

In the 53rd minute, Boniquet was able to push Cornella forward and forced Illara to touch the ball out for a corner kick. As they set up for the corner, Sami just sat down. He was very obviously woozy and he was taken off. I will save my rant on concussions. I’m just glad he ended up going off on his own two feet. He ended up being taken to Sanitas and monitored there over night.

The corner was taken by Israel while we were down to ten men and curled to the front post. Nacho was able to clear it just when we thought it was going to be over the line for a goal.

Jese was brought in to replace Sami and the Bernabeu absolutely roared. It was great to see him on the pitch again but it was hard to see it happen in this fashion.

Cornella also made a substitution, replacing Muñoz with Antonio Trujillo. Then made another substitution two minutes later when Guadioso was replaced by Joaquin Garcia.

In the 60th minute, Arbeloa placed a great pass in over the top for Chicharito to attempt. It actually hit the crossbar and bounced off the Cornella defender for an own goal. But hey, Chicharito deserved the praise.

And I love Coentrao’s grin. Own goals are tough, and I feel for Borja Lopez. But it really was a lovely assist by Arbeloa and one touch flick by Chicharito. I wish it had been given to him.

Ancelotti made our final change in the 62nd minute, breaking away from the 70th minute mark and making me look like a jerk for comparing him to Wenger. James, on two goals, was replaced by Javi Muñoz.

As an aside, I do not dislike Arsene Wenger. I just think it’s interesting that he always waits until the 70th minute to make his first substitution. Never a minute before. Hence, I like calling it “Wenger Time.”

Jese was taking a bit to get into the match, which was understandable. And every time he touched the ball, the fans cheered. We all wanted a goal from him so badly, didn’t we?

In the 64th minute, Pacheco finally got to collect the ball from a shot on goal. It was an easy save for our lovely bearded goalkeeper.

Chicharito nearly had a goal at 68′ when Jese played a great cross into the box. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the longest legs in the world, and couldn’t get on the end of it.

Cornella’s final substitution was to bring on Pep Caballe for Alex Gallar.

In the 76th minute I thought we were going to get a Medran goal as he made his way down the right. But he touched the ball heavily and Garcia was able to come in and make the tackle. Actually, more like clatter into him.

But in the 77th minute, we got our next goal. And who was it that made their glorious return to the scoresheet? JESE! JESE! JESE!

Isco worked well to drive into the box then passed to Jese on the right. Jese did what he does so well and put a precise shot past the keeper and to the far post.

I don’t know who was more excited; Jese, his teammates, the fans at the Bernabeu, or me! God I love when he scores. He really is just so, so good. I think he would have (or should have, because knowing Del Bosque he’d have brought Costa and Torres anyway) been on the Spain squad for the World Cup had he not been injured.

Nine months, his first match back, and he scores in his signature fashion. Big Flow is on hold but Jese is back!

It just feels so good, doesn’t it?

Welcome back to Team "Show Me On The Doll"

Welcome back to Team “Show Me On The Doll”

The 79th minute saw Medran try to add to our tally when let a strike fly from outside the box. It was wide, and Iñigo didn’t need to worry about it too much.

We kept possession, and control of the game, following. Cornella continued to try to push forward, to their credit, but looked a little tired. Our defenders were working together very well to deny Cornella their chances of possession.

In the 89th minute, Iñigo made a great save to tip a fabulous Muñoz strike over the bar. We earned the corner, and Isco showed his great footwork again before being tripped by Pelegri. It probably should have been a penalty but it wasn’t given and with the scoreline at 5-0, I can’t be too upset about it.

And that was it for the match. Our 17th win in a row. James had two and Jese had his! Shirtless Arbeloa loved it as much as we did.

Match Photos:


Post-Match Comments:

Ancelotti post match


“Jesé was great and now he is another addition to the squad“, added the Italian coach.

Carlo Ancelotti analysed the Whites’ comprehensive win over Cornellà in the return leg of the Copa del Rey Round of 32 in the press room: “We played a serious match, were focused and won well, showing our quality, exactly what we had asked for before the game.”

“We never thought about the record and we haven’t given it any thought since. We have another important game against Celta and we want to stay top of La Liga, which is our objective. We are happy that the run is still alive and we will work to keep it going as long as we can.”

“He was great. He needs to get used to playing but he’s started well and showed a great attitude and scored. It went well for him. I don’t think he was scared. He has to get used to the opposition. That is the problem with an injury like his. He is working away in Valdebebas without any problems.”

“Jesé was out for nine months and we have to bring him back bit by bit. He’ll get another run out against Ludogorets. We need a bit of time because it is not easy to come back from an injury like that. His recovery has been great and he has worked well. Now he is another addition to the squad.”

“We finished the game with six youth academy players on the pitch. That is great for the club. Zidane is doing great work. He is very charismatic and the players listen to him. He is doing great work and the youth academy players are improving under him, and we are going to benefit from that, just like we did tonight. We get players that are ready to go like Medrán and Llorente. Muñoz was also very assured. The work carried out by the youth academy is important.”

“We have five and with all the games we have to play there is space for all of them. Jesé can play in every position up front. He likes the left wing but he can play as a centre forward.”

“It is not easy for any player to come to Real Madrid but he is demonstrating his quality and showing a great attitude during this period. We are delighted with him and he’ll definitely improve. I really like his attitude because he is humble and that is important. Having a humble player with his quality is a perfect ingredient for the team.”

Isco’s red card
“We are confident that they will rescind the card. I’m sure they’ll rescind it because it was an unfair sending off. Isco is in great form and doesn’t have a problem with playing every three days.”

Varane and Illarra
“Varane came off because of a slight muscular problem in his right leg and we thought it best to avoid any problems. He isn’t injured. As for Illarra, he has no problems playing with Isco. He can also play in the middle with Kroos positioned a bit further to the right. He played a lot of games with Alonso and can do the same as him.”

Jese post match


“It has been months of suffering but everyone has supported me a lot”, he said.

Jesé Rodríguez was the major star of the win over Cornellà. The Real Madrid academy graduate, who returned to action following a long-term injury, expressed his gratitude for the support received: “I’m very happy to have made my return and scored my goal. It has been many months of suffering. Everyone has helped me a lot, the fans, the president, my team-mates. The fans love me a lot and I love them too.”

“You go through a difficult time when you’re out, because it’s many months away from the pitch. I have to keep on working to improve physically. I missed being with the team and scoring goals. I dedicate this to the fans, because they have supported me a lot, and to the doctors and physios.”

Social Media Corner:

First off, this isn’t really social media, Cristiano was there with his Mini-Me. It makes me happy that he was there to support his team. People can give him as much crap as they want, but really he’s not what his haters think.

I’m going to need Lozil to weigh in on this one, but I just can’t shake that Cris Jr looks a little like AB here.

Let’s get the not-so-pretty out of the way before we get into the rest. Karim posted this photo. He was also there watching his teammates. Never change, Karim.

On second thought, please do. Out of that hideous sweater!

Sergio Llull and Marcus Slaughter showed their love for Jese and the whole team. I love our basketballers almost as much as I love our footballers.

Paul Clement was proud of the accomplishments that he’s part of:

And of course, the love shown to Jese by some of his other teammates:

And then there was this (yes it this deserves bold lettering). It was retweeted by both Jese and Illaramendi. I’m just going to end here, because I don’t think I can go on for fear I might faint again.

As Lozil said: “I love my clothing optional team.”

(images and gifs from GF Sports, the-vip-football-collection, football-hqs, and

¡Hala Madrid!


One Response to “Match Recap: Copa del Rey – Real Madrid Vs. UE Cornellà”

  1. M December 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    How I love this bunch of idiots!!

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