3-1: On to the cup semi-finals

COMPARE RELATIONSHIP. 26/01/2023. Albert Navarro Photographer: Antonio Villalba, Helios de la Rubia and Pedro Castillo

Real Madrid made a comeback from 1-0 at halftime with Rodrygo in the 79th minute and goals from Benzema and Vini Jr. in overtime.

Real Madrid are in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. The derby went to extra time and once again our team proved that they control the conditions like this better than anyone else. Morata Atlético in the 19th minute before Rodrygo equalized in the 79th with a special piece of individual skill, a great piece of play in which he beat three opponents and scored with the outside screws. Benzema was instrumental in extra time, scoring the second goal in 104 minutes, and Vini Jr. he added a third in the stoppage time.

A high-tempo start to the game and Atlético were the first to draw blood as Morata netted in the 19th minute, but our team had two chances to level before rising. Valverde’s shot from the edge of the area ended up in Oblak’s hands. The second, more incisive, was from set-pieces just past half an hour when Kroos’ signaled free-kick from the left was passed by Militão’s keeper but failed to find the target.

It was a completely different story as the players returned for the second half. Real Madrid began to press deeper and push Atlético to the edge of their box. Our team had taken full control of the game but now it was a question of solving a well-drilled defence. They came close on 54′ when Nacho shot across goal through the back of Valverde but it flew just wide. Four minutes later, Madrid were rampaging again as Benzema’s left-footed cross was pushed away by Oblak, and as the ball fell into the Vini Ir box, Savic was clearly on the hook.

Rodrygo produces the prize
The clock kept ticking and with 73 minutes gone, Griezmann came close to extending Atlético’s lead, but his shot was saved by Courtois. The answer was quite a spectacle, a true work of art, as Rodrygo surveyed the wild 79′. The Brazilian received the ball a mile from goal and set off on a tremendous run, before slipping past Witsel, Hermoso and Savic before beating Oblak with the outside of his right boot. From there, supported by the voice of the Bernabéu, Ancelotti’s boys went all out in search of a goal that would secure their place in the semi-finals, but they could not find an arrangement before the end of the season.

Extra time
An extra period followed with much of the same script as Ancelotti’s team continued to dominate. Modrić was beaten in the 95th corner, but Rüdiger just couldn’t find the target. Four minutes later, Atlético were reduced to ten men after Savic was shown a second yellow card. This was all for the home side to complete before the first half of extra time. With 104 minutes on the clock, Asensio shot the ball into the box and left Benzema at the back post to turn it into the net. Madrid continues to climb the game, even adding to its lead thanks to some exceptional play by Vini Jr.

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