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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Atletico Madrid take Copa del Rey revenge over Real Madrid


 Atletico Madrid took revenge for last week’s semifinal defeat in the Spanish Supercup, reaching the Copa del Rey quarterfinals with a 4-2 home win over Real Madrid on Thursday.

Just as in Saudi Arabia last week, the two teams produced another 120 monumental minutes of football, but this time goals in extra-time from Antoine Griezmann and Rodrigo Riquelme tilted

the balance to Atletico’s way in front of a packed Metropolitano Stadium.

The first half was sandwiched by two completely different actions from Atletico keeper Jan Oblak, who in the 20th minute made a brilliant double save to deny Rodrygo and then Vinicius Jr as his teammates asked for offside.

Before that double save, Jude Bellingham was unlucky as Jose Gimenez did just enough to deflect his shot onto the crossbar.

Real Madrid were looking more fluid and taking the game to their neighbors, who were leaving too much space between lines.

Rodrygo saw a free kick deflected over after a foul on Jude Bellingham and Fede Valverde hit a powerful shot at Oblak, before Atletico opened the scoring in the 38th minute.

Rodrigo de Paul found room to cross and his ball took a deflection off Antonio Rudiger for Lino to score at the far post.

Things got heated and Vinicius, who was again been the target of racist insults from a section of the Atletico fans, was booked for complaining a refereeing decision, before a rare Oblak error gifted Real Madrid an equalizer in first half injury time.

Luka Modric swung in a diagonal free kick and the keeper came a long way off his line, but his punch sent the ball into his own net.

Ten minutes into the second half, it was Andriy Lunin’s turn to look bad as he could only palm a deflection off Eduardo Camavinga into the path of Alvaro Morata, although Rudiger should have

done a better job of protecting him.

Rodrygo then saw a shot blocked onto the post by Lino, before Lunin made two vital blocks, first to deny Griezmann from a narrow angle and then Morata, who looked certain to score from Marcos Llorente’s cross following an Atletico counter-attack.

Lunin’s second save was vital as Real Madrid equalized in their next attack, with Vinicius passing to Bellingham, who crossed for Joselu to score a simple header minutes after getting into the game.

In the extra time, Griezmann restored Atletico’s lead in the 100th minute with a brilliant individual goal, taking advantage of a poor control from Vinicius to run down the right touchline, before cutting inside and firing into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

The second period of extra time saw two tired teams giving everything. Dani Ceballos had the ball

in the net but it was ruled out for a Bellingham offside.

With Real Madrid searching for an equalizer, Atletico caught them on the break and Riquelme assured their place in the last-eight after finishing off a move started by Griezmann and with

Memphis Depay giving the final pass.

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