Match Recap: Copa del Rey – Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

21 Jan

Evil Bunny BusAfter losing 2-0 to Atleti at the Calderon, it was time to move across town to get that remontada going!

The team had been calling for the support of the fans all week. They needed it more than ever and boy did the fans in Madrid give it to them! Nacho posted this incredible video from inside the bus as they pulled up to the stadium.

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And the official YouTube channel had the same video but theirs was a view from the Bernabeu itself.

I’ve never witnessed the Bernabeu like that in person. It’s such a strange thought to me. I watched Spain beat France from the Bernabeu during Euro 2012 and it was insane. When Spain beat Portugal in the quarter final of the Euro it was crazier. The Clasico that Lozil and I attended last year was crazy (like someone was stabbed and we thought we were going to get arrested by riot police crazy). But none of that was “light fires on Concha Espina” crazy.

The Bernabeu decorated itself in gold to celebrate Cristiano’s third Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano and our other FIFA winners presented their awards to the Bernabeu prior to kick-off. I hoped it was a “Hey, look at our awards. Now we’re going to stomp you.”


Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Isco, James Rodriguez; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Atletico Madrid: Jan Oblak; Juanfran, Miranda, Diego GodĂ­n, Guilherme Siqueira; Mario Suarez, Tiago Mendes, Koke; RaĂşl GarcĂ­a, Antoine Griezmann; Fernando Torres

Starting XIWe needed to keep a clean sheet and beat Atleti by three goals in order to advance in the Copa. Nando had never scored at the Bernabeu and with Mandzukic out with a fever, Griezmann was playing behind Torres. We had our relatively regular lineup with Navas in goal instead of Iker. But we had all of our fire power up front. It was going to be a good match!

At least, that’s what I thought and as I sat finally managed to sit down 30 seconds after I heard the peep of the whistle to start, I had no idea what was coming. Because if you’ve ever wanted to see what I’m like as a raging sports fan, you should have been in my living room as Fernando Torres scored against us in the 50th second of this match.

Carvajal had let the ball run and Griezmann latched onto it, blazing past Pepe. He cut the ball back behind Sergio and there was Torres (who I’m now mad at and will be nothing but Torres from here on) to touch it, like the striker he used to be, into the corner.

From 4000 miles away, I felt the Bernabeu deflate at the hands of a man who, love him or hate him, has struggled for the past 4 years. Not only had Torres never scored at the Bernabeu, he had never scored against Real Madrid in that shirt.

We didn’t respond as well as I’d have liked, but Atleti only had to sit back and hope we couldn’t score (now) 4 goals against them.

In the 6th minute, Gareth had a chance but couldn’t get enough power to his header and it was straight at Oblak. Then, a few minutes later, Isco sent a shot high and wide.

In the 18th minute, Benz had a chance but didn’t get any power on it. Oblak got to it before Cristiano could get across to tap it in.

But in the 20th minute, the lovely head of The Pony brought us level and raised the spirits of the Bernabeu! We’d earned a freekick after Torres got a bit enthusiastic. Toni crossed it in and Sergio was there unmarked.

Ramos celebrates his goal Ramos goal celebrationAll we needed was a good response from our boys! And we did respond well, we just couldn’t finish (the euphemisms are rampant here at HB&HB). In the 22nd minute, Bale rampaged down the right and crossed the ball in but Atleti just managed to clear it.

The game was starting to turn in our favor in terms of how much we were pressing our players forward. But both teams were beginning to make their tackles harder. Raul Garcia was the first to be booked in the 25th minute.

In the 36th minute, Bale had two of his attempted crosses cut out by the Atleti defense.

In the 41st, Atleti earned a corner which was taken by Koke but cleared easily. It wasn’t long before we were back down at the other end challenging Oblak again.

In the 45th minute, Torres got a touch to the ball again. Atleti were having a hard time getting service to him after that first goal. He won a freekick outside the box but that was it for the first half.

Second Half:

The most frustrating thing, for me, about the first half wasn’t that Torres had scored (though it was certainly frustrating). It was that Godin was freaking EVERYWHERE! He is frustratingly good. *sigh*

The second half kicked off and I didn’t even have time to think. Because Torres did it again…

36 seconds into the second half and Sergio made a lazy pass that went straight to Griezmann. He then found Torres, who made a run down the left, cut inside Pepe and finished cooly between Navas’ legs. Of all times for Fernando Torres to regain his confidence. UGH!

Not the best of defending and not the best of goalkeeping, but I can’t take away that Torres scored a very good goal. His movement off the ball hasn’t been his problem for the past four years and I think that’s rather obvious here. His problem has been his lack of confidence in front of goal. As Lozil says, he had the yips.

In the 49th minute, Atleti pressed forward again and Torres got past Pepe to touch it to Griezmann. But all Griezmann could do, thankfully, was shoot wide.

In the 51st minute, Godin earned a yellow for introducing Cristiano’s calf to his studs. Which is all well and good when Cristiano responds with a goal.

Marcelo played the ball down the line to Bale, who crossed the ball in from the left. Cristiano came in with authority and headed it past Oblak.

Cris thumbs upIn the 56th minute, Raul Garcia and Pepe came together and Pepe hit the ground. He ended up having to be subbed off because of something with his ribs. I’m not used to Pepe being the injured one in clashes.

In the 58th minute, Arda Turan came in for Torres while my Baby Varane replaced Pepe.

Atleti won a freekick in the 60th minute when Bale took out Tiago. The ball was set about 20 yards out but Navas tipped the ball over easily when Griezmann had his shot. The corner was also cleared easily.

The 66th minute was our next chance with a cross from Bale to Ramos. Unfortunately Ramos directed the ball straight at Oblak.

True to Wenger time, Ancelotti made our first sub in the 70th minute when James was replaced by Jese. And in the 73rd minute, Griezmann was replaced by Gabi which basically left Atleti with a 6-4-0 formation. And people think Mourinho is the master of parking the bus…

In the 78th minute, Gareth flicked a header over the bar. But that was the high point for us for the previous 12 minutes.

In the 81st minute, Simeone used his last substitution by putting Raul Jimenez in for Raul Garcia. So now it was a 6-3-1 formation. Still parking the bus.

Marcelo picked up a yellow card in the 83rd minute for a late tackle on Hernandez. Koke was carded just a minute later for shoving Marcelo. Two minutes later, it was Dani’s turn to pick up a yellow for swiping at Siquiera’s legs. The freekick was sent in and Varane managed to get his head to it.

In the 87th minute, Jimenez had Varane beat and a good 4 yard head start on him but Varane closed him down and stole the ball back like it was nothing.

Isco was the next to be booked. His came in the 89th minute for plowing through Hernandez.

The ref indicated four minutes of extra time and Isco had a chance on goal in the first minute of it. It was straight at Oblak again, however.

We won a freekick in the third minute of extra time but it was put high by Cristiano. That was about it for the match. 2-2 draw and we are out of the Copa del Rey.

To be honest, I’m not that mad about it. I’m not happy, but I just didn’t want to lose to Atleti again. With being out of the Copa now we can focus on the Liga and Champions League. And, maybe, our players can get a little bit of rest because we are tired.

Match Photos:


Post-Match Comments:

Ancelotti post matchAncelotti:

“The BernabĂ©u helped us throughout the match with a lot of enthusiasm and support”, he explained.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media as he assessed the match against AtlĂ©tico: “The key to the match was in the two mistakes. It’s something that we have to correct. But we can’t forget our first hour of the match, which, for me, was spectacular. The BernabĂ©u helped us throughout the match with a lot of enthusiasm and support. The atmosphere was extraordinary.”

“You have to assess the match. Firstly, we were made to pay a heavy price for our mistakes, while during the first 60 minutes we played very well. You can’t play better. It’s difficult when you go 1-0 down at the start, but we stood up to be counted and played very well. We have three weeks to prepare for the Champions League and this is good for the team.”

The possibility of coming back
“After the first goal we conceded, we believed in the comeback. We played with penetration, tempo and controlled the play. At half time, we were up for it because something could be done. We started the second half by conceding and we produced a good reaction to equalise. But afterwards, the team thought it was more difficult.”

Formula for beating Atlético
“We found the formula last year; this year, not yet. We have another game to go against them. In La Liga, we have a lead over AtlĂ©tico. We know that they’re a very strong team and we’re going to approach our next game against them in the best way possible.”

“We made mistakes that we don’t usually make. We had problems passing the ball out from the back. It’s the first time that we’ve experienced these mistakes and I don’t think it will happen again. The team has quality in bringing the ball out from the back.”

“He did very well, with the consistency and quality of previous games. But everyone played very well.”

Lack of cutting edge in front of goal?
“We’d be concerned if we didn’t have chances to score. But we produced attractive play with quality, tempo and intensity. I’m not concerned about that. We scored two goals. The concern comes from the mistakes we made at the back in bringing the ball out, which I don’t think we’ll make again.”

Atlético defence
“Playing through the middle against AtlĂ©tico is difficult, because they close up their banks of players very well. It’s very difficult to find spaces between the lines.”

Pepe substitution
“He has taken a knock to his ribs that is painful at the moment. He’ll have a scan in the coming hours and we’ll see.”

Ramos post matchRamos:

Sergio Ramos scored the first Real Madrid goal against AtlĂ©tico and talked about the knockout round after the game: “Both we and the coach are proud of having given everything. I think we deserved more in the first half, as we created a lot of chances. However, we can’t take anything away from AtlĂ©tico, they really know how to compete well as a team”.

“We are sad to have been eliminated and because we wanted to respond in the best way possible for the fans who were with us from the moment we arrived at Concha Espina. In the end, it wasn’t to be. It is never pleasing to be eliminated, but there is nothing we can do. Now we want to recover and focus on the remaining competitions”.

“We had a great campaign last season and we are making an effort to keep competing and reach the objectives. The season is long and when this club loses two matches, people start talking about a crisis. We now need to keep calm and move on. We have to focus on what we can achieve”.


“We have to thank the fans”
“In both the first leg and tonight, we have paid a high price for our errors, despite the fact that we can be proud of having played 60 fantastic minutes. We didn’t go out there with a lack of focus. The first goal was unlucky. The knockout round was very close and we have certain errors to blame”.

“We have to thank the fans. We are Real Madrid and we are really annoyed to have lost a competition, but we have to look forward and approach La Liga and the Champions League with everything we have. I don’t think they have taken our measure, we are the European champions”.

Cristiano post matchRonaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the goal scorers against AtlĂ©tico and he analysed the match: “We knew that we were two goals down, we had to score three goals, and that was difficult. It is disappointing to lose like that. The first half was really good, but we were unlucky in the first few minutes when they scored”.

“We want to thank the fans for the reception we got. It was impressive. From the moment we got to Concha Espina until we left the pitch. I am personally grateful for the tribute they gave me. I apologize on behalf of the team, perhaps we could have done things better. However, we can also say that we have La Liga, the Champions League and lots of other things to win this year”.

“Obviously it is never good to lose. However, you always have to think positively. The team will play at a higher level later on in the season, and we can aim to win La Liga and the Champions League. Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world and always wants to win, although sometimes it is better to take one step and then to take two steps forward”.

“We have to keep working and make the most of these two weeks to train well and recover our form. Life is not just about goals. It is impossible to play at 100% in every game. I am not from another planet. There are good and bad moments. I feel good and am sure that in two or three weeks, the team and I will be flying high again”.


Marcelo played the full 90 minutes of the match against AtlĂ©tico and analysed the encounter after the final whistle: “We tried until the end, but they were the better side and we have to congratulate them. I’m proud of our team because we didn’t let our heads drop at any point and we gave it a good go despite the deficit.”

“To play here, you have to stand up to be counted. We have to be proud because we tried to get through every way we could. We tried to do what the coach asked of us, but unfortunately we didn’t qualify.”

“We had to be focused and the goals on the counter-attack are things that happen in football. We were nervous. We’re trying to do what we did last year, and it’s difficult because there is more pressure than before. Now we have another game and we’re going to try to win.”

¡Hala Madrid!


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