Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Real Madrid win 20th Copa del Rey

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Rodrygo scored twice as Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey for the first time since 2014 after beating Osasuna in the final in Seville.

The Brazilian was on hand to fire the winner from close range on Saturday after Toni Kroos’ shot deflected into his path.

Osasuna, playing in only their second Copa del Rey final, had threatened an upset when Lucas Torro levelled.

Rodrygo handed Real an early lead with the fastest goal in a Spanish football cup final for 17 years, after 106 seconds.

Osasuna, backed by nearly 25 000 fans inside the Estadio de La Cartuja, had their chances as they chased a first major trophy in their 103-year history.

They were denied a stoppage-time equaliser when Dani Carvajal produced a last-ditch block to keep out Kike Barja’s side-footed effort.

Los Rojillos, which translates as The Little Reds, had more shots on target (5) than Real (3), but Carlo Ancelotti’s side were ultimately more clinical in front of goal.

Victory for Real delivers a 20th Copa del Rey title as they now turn their attention to Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City.

Osasuna fans had travelled in large numbers and painted the city of Seville red in anticipation of Saturday’s final, but it could not have started any worse on the field.

Vinicius Jr, who returned to the Real starting XI as Ancelotti made five changes to the side that lost at Real Sociedad, proved to be a constant threat down the left.

The Brazilian beat his marker and got to the byline before cutting the ball back across the face of goal for Rodrygo to convert for the opening goal.

Osasuna’s task nearly became even harder when Karim Benzema forced Sergio Herrera into a smart save, but Jagoba Arrasate’s side began to grow into the game and they could have equalised a minute later.

Bearing down on goal after shrugging off the challenge of Eder Militao, Abde Ezzalzouli beat Thibaut Courtois but could not guide his chipped effort on target.

The leveller did come after the break when Torro’s controlled finish from outside the area against his former club sent the red half of the stadium into delirium.

Some of the enthusiasm spilled over as play was momentarily halted while stewards had to use a fire extinguisher on a loose pyrotechnic where the Osasuna fans were housed.

But Madrid always carried a threat and when Vinicius Jr burst through down the left once more and dragged the ball back from the byline, Kroos’ effort came off Garcia for Rodrygo to pounce and lift into the net.

With the La Liga title seemingly heading to Barcelona, Ancelotti’s side will enjoy their celebrations before turning their attention to the Champions League.

The holders will be hoping they can welcome back Luka Modric from a hamstring issue to face City in the first leg at the Bernabeu. (BBC)

 

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