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Atlético de Madrid Vs Real Madrid, Copa del Rey 2013-2014: We Are In The Final!

A big part of the work was done last week in the Bernabeu, but our players came out today with the intention of deciding the semifinal as soon as possible. Two early goals by Ronaldo from the penalty spot were enough to beat our neighbours by 0-2 and qualify to the Copa del Rey final, were we will face Barcelona or Real Sociedad, on April 19th.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

The first minutes of the game were totally different from what I was expecting. Our players had an absolute control of the ball possession and Simeone's men were not showing any intensity. It seemed as if they did not believe in the possibility of getting back in the semifinal after last week's 3-0, as if they were only thinking about obtaining a good result today. With a lot of their usual players missing, their plan basically consisted in waiting at their side, all together, and trying to have any chance by counterattacking.

That strategy was, possibly, the worst today. Ancelotti's lineup was specifically designed to control the game. With Alonso, Modric and Illarramendi at the midfield, joined by Isco, who was acting as a fake 9, the ball possession was clearly madridista (at the end of the match, we reached a tremendous 65%). The plan was clear: not to take any unnecessary risks, secure the ball and try to control the game.

The apathy showed by Atlético's offensive men encouraged our players to attack a little more, and the match was solved with our first approach to their box. A fast transition driven by Isco ended with Ronaldo receiving the ball in front of Miranda and chased by Manquillo. His speed served him to leave the Brazilian behind and Manquillo had to make a foul to stop him just after he entered the box. Undiano called the penalty spot and Ronaldo scored. 0-1 and the round was solved.

Our players smelled the blood and continued with their attack to finish the game as soon as possible. Our midfielders were controlling the scenario and Isco, with total freedom, was performing at his finest level this year. In fact, the second goal came from a great heel pass he gave to Bale, who was stopped by Insua, committing a second penalty that Ronaldo did not miss either.

Basically, this was everything. The semifinal and the match were decided and nothing remarkable happened later, at least from the football standpoint. It is worth mentioning, however, that the tension was clear in some players' bad gestures, like the ones by Raúl García or Cebolla Rodríguez, who were constantly trying to get into brawls with our players. Luckily enough, none of our warned men were shown a yellow card so, in principle, all the squad will be available for the final.

Finally, I regret having to comment about Ronaldo being hit by a lighter that was thrown by someone in the stands just before the break. The scene was disgraceful but, happily, there were no bad consequences for our Commander. It seems that, luckily, the person who did this has already been caught by the police. It is not the first time that things like this happen at Vicente Calderón, since five years ago Pellegrini was also hit by a rock coming from the stands.

Tomorrow, we will get to know who our rival in the final will be. Barcelona has a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, but Real Sociedad will for sure try to win tomorrow and qualify. In any case, we will have a great match next April 19th, which will be Ancelotti's first chance to win a title for Real Madrid. Let it be.

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