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Real Madrid Finally Back to Copa del Rey Final, 7 Years Later

Well, it's official. After a pretty boring game that only became exciting in the last 10 minutes, Real Madrid have advanced to the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona. Meut Oezil scored a beautiful goal for los blancos in the 83rd minute that effectively put away a Sevilla team that didn't show any of the attacking flare that they have been known for in the past few years. Emmanuel Adebayor polished off Madrid's win with his first goal as a madridista in the 91st minute.

Emmanuel Adebayor - Real Madrid v Sevilla - Copa del ReyThe game was pretty uneventful: the main highlights were di Maria's shot off the post in the 4th minute, and Cristiano Ronaldo's one-on-one with Sevilla GK Varas in the 30th minute. Mourinho opted for a calm, defensive approach that clearly frustrated and stifled Sevilla all game. The most interesting note was that Sevilla's big striker Kanoute shadowed Xabi Alonso all game, trying to keep the tolosarra playmaker from beginning offensive moves in midfield: this could be evidence of the way teams will try to play Madrid in the weeks and months to come.

Finally, Alvaro Negredo had a goal called back for offsides. I'll simply state that, in my opinion, he did look offsides, though these calls really are instinctual: a Sevilla fan might look at the tape and see the exact opposite thing. In fact, I'm sure they would. With Luis Fabiano's phantom goal in the first leg, and now Negredo's offside goal, Sevilla fans have been on the wrong side of some very tough, close refereeing decisions. In my opinion, they were both correct. I'll leave it at that.

In other news, earlier in the day FC Barcelona advanced despite long odds against a heavily-favored Almeria squad. The Catalans batled through an exceedingly tough semifinal stage, and barely managed to contain the overpowering Almeria attack, which mustered 0 goals during the stage. In contrast, Barca's group of scrappy underdogs pulled off a shocking 0-3 victory (8-0 on aggregate), while simultaneously enamoring the entire world with their brand of blue-collar, nuts-and-bolts, meat-and-potatos-style football.


Actually, a heavily favored Barcelona team steamrolled the scrappy (read: terrible) Almeria squad. Shocking.

We'll meet the Catalans in the final in April (the second of possible three matches between our two teams), and we'll probably be underdogs. But that's OK--Mourinho is itching for revenge, as are all madridistas whose blood run white and purple.

Fun Fact: Real Madrid haven't been in the final in 7 years, and haven't played Barcelona in the final in 21 years.

Less Fun Fact: Madrid's loss in the final 7 years ago was the harbringer of the downfall of the galactico era, the famous "centenarizo" loss to Deportivo.

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